The most endangered of the endemic birds, Seychelles Magpie Robin or Pi Santez in Creole, came close to extinction in the late twentieth century; in 1970 there were only about 25 surviving birds on one island (Fregate Island).
Seychelles Magpie Robin © Richard Thomas
At 9 days old © J. Souyave
At 17 days old © J. Souyave
Through an active conservation programme coordinated by BirdLife Interntional and later Nature Seychelles, which involved moving predators, improving habitat and providing nest boxes on Fregate and moving birds to other predator-free islands to start new populations, the total number of birds has risen significantly, although it remains one of the rarest birds in the world. Its conservation status has greatly improved, but it still relies on conservation management and implementation of the Seychelles Magpie Recovery Team (SMART), which was formed to take conservation actions to save this species. SMART is coordinated by Nature Seychelles. The species was downlisted from being Critically Endangered to Endangered in 2005 after great efforts to increase its population.
Scientific name: Copsychus sechellarum
Conservation status: Endangered
Population in Seychelles: a minimum of 260 birds
Distribution in Seychelles: Fregate, Cousin, Cousine, Denis and Aride
Habitat: Forests and gardens
Nest: Build from grasses, fribes, usually in nextboxes or natural cavities in trees, sometimes in the top of coconut palms. A single egg is laid.
Diet: Insects and other invertebrates, baby mice, fish dropped by seabirds
Identification: Long-tailed, glossy black and white bird with black bill