The Dodo bird has come to symolise extinction, and man’s folly in his destructive overuse of natural resources. Indeed Jersey’s own Durrell Wildlife Trust’s – which is dedicated to saving specise from extinction – symbol is the Dodo. So how did this ungainly bird become extinct ?
While hotly debated by scientists, the dodo seems to have become extinct for 3 reasons :
First – before humans arrived on Mauritius – an island in the Indian Ocean where the dodos had evolved – they had no natural predators and as such were easy to hunt by travellers looking for a food supply.
Second – the humans who landed on Mauritius brought with them numerous foreign animals not native to the island such as pigs, dogs and macaques, which are reported to have frequently raided the dodo’s nests to take their young.
Finally – as more and more of Mauritius became colonised so that its natural resources could be harvested and exported, habitat loss severely reduced the territory in which dodos could successfully live and reproduce.