Friday, 12 May 2023, 16:20
Two rare Edwards' pheasant chicks have hatched at Bioparc Fuengirola in a significant event for the Costa del Sol animal and conservation centre.
Also known as Vietnamese pheasants, the last time this species of bird was seen alive - other than at a conservation centre - was at a market in Vietnam more than 20 years ago.
Since then the species has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the last category before it is declared extinct.
There are currently less than 450 of the birds registered in conservation centres.
Bioparc Fuengirola is the only park in Andalucía working to help keep the species alive, which was discovered in 1896, in the hope that the birds will be able to be reintroduced into the wild.
Head of Zoology and Coordinator of Birds at Bioparc Fuengirola Antonio Garrucho said: "For all of us who work with wild animals, knowing that we are reproducing a species that, if it weren't for centres like Bioparc and the work of people like us, would be extinct forever, is what gives meaning to hard and passionate work.
“The reward is to see little ones like these pheasants grow up and now play a key role in the future of the species.”
The parents of the two chicks, from Czech Republic and Germany, arrived at the Malaga park more than a year ago. The species is very sensitive to changes in its habitat. Most of the forests where they lived were destroyed during the Vietnam War, resulting in their disappearance from the wild. The birds were also used for hunting and illegal trafficking.
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