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The Journey of Species Survival is Durrell's main tool for planning and tracking how we deliver our mission of saving species from extinction. We monitor each species through 13 management stages and four main phases as our actions drive its population recovery from the brink of extinction back to safer levels.

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Phase I: Assessment & Planning

Phase I: Assessment & Planning

The first phase of the survival journey focuses on gathering the information required to plan our approach to effectively manage the recovery of the species.

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment

1976

Gerald Durrell and colleagues make their first visit to Mauritius where they observe the extreme rarity of the species. A rapid assessment finds the last remaining wild population has declined to just 10 birds at a single site. The main threats identified include large scale habitat destruction, predation from invasive species and food shortage from habitat degredation.

About the Rapid assessment stage
Field missions are used to assess species conservation status, key threats and initial actions needed to kick start the programme.

Rapid response

Rapid response

1977

Two captive-breeding centres are established as an emergency action to safeguard the future of the species, one on Mauritius and one in Jersey. Durrell help set up both facilities and after facing problems with low fertility and inbreeding, careful management of the captive populations enables keepers to produce 165 birds in the first 10 years.

About the Rapid response stage
If extinction risk is very high, captive breeding programmes or rapid field interventions might be used to avert an immediate risk of extinction.

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement

1978

Durrell establishes an International Training centre based in Jersey to teach local partners the essential skills needed to manage successful conservation projects. Mauritian Forestry Services staff member, Yousoof Mungroo, spends a year in Jersey learning these essential skills, including captive breeding techniques and upon graduation returns to Mauritius to work on the pink pigeon project.

About the Stakeholder engagement stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Full assessment

Full assessment

1987

Information on the taxonomy, breeding ecology, life-history, habitat use, threats and conservation priorities of the pink pigeon is collected and published by Professor Carl Jones in his book entitled “The Larger Land Birds of Mauritius”. Conservation recommendations are made based on the available data and include supplemental feeding, site and nest protection, reintroductions of captive-bred birds and translocations to new areas.

About the Full assessment stage
Intensive research into ecological, environmental and socio-ecological factors affecting the species provides a baseline to inform the planning stage.

Planning & partnership

Planning & partnership

1984

Durrell supports the formation of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, the first Non-Governmental Organisation for conservation in Mauritius. Durrell and MWF work closely as project partners carefully planning the release and monitoring of captive-bred birds in an attempt to increase the wild population.

About the Planning and partnership stage
Conservation targets and detailed action plans are developed to guide the programme's efforts. Partnerships and governance are also outlined to ensure the programme remains on track.

Phase II: Intensive Care

Phase II: Intensive Care

This phase involves the testing and implementation of intensive management actions to tackle the main threats to a species in order to stabilise its population and promote recovery. It often requires the most resources as it lays the foundation for a species’ long-term recovery.

Trialling actions

Trialling actions

1984

The first release of captive-bred birds into the controlled environment of Mauritius’ Botanical Gardens is conducted. This trial is used to develop release techniques as well as identify any hands-on management required by the birds post-release.

About the Trialling actions stage
Conservation actions are tested on the ground, results are monitored and techniques are adapted to develop effective management actions.

Scaling up actions

Scaling up actions

1987

42 captive-bred pink pigeons are released into the wild in Mauritius to establish a separate sub-population. Supported by predator control and supplementary feeding, each individual bird is ringed and monitored closely. Over the next seven years, a further two sub-populations are established through releases.

About the Scaling up actions stage
Once effective management actions are developed they can be rolled out across the intervention zone.

Intensive management

Intensive management

1994

Supplemental feeding, predator control and intense monitoring are being carried out at three newly established sub-populations, and the remnant wild population at Pigeon Wood. Monitoring shows the impacts of these intensive management techniques are bringing the primary threats to the wild pigeons under control and the number of birds is starting to increase.

About the Intensive management stage
After actions have been scaled up they are then intensively implemented to bring primary threats under control, enabling the start of the species' recovery.

Adaptive management

Adaptive management

Ongoing

A significant increase in the wild population and range of the pink pigeon through releases and intense management means the species has been downlisted to Endangered on the IUCN Red List. However, the wild population is now fluctuating around 400 birds and further releases and continued management of the wild populations is necessary before progression to the next stage of minimum management can be considered.

About the Adaptive management stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Phase III: Long-term Management

Phase III: Long-term Management

Once a species reaches this phase the population recovery is well underway but the sustainability and long-term robustness of the programme needs to be ensured.

Minimum management

Future target

About the Minimum management stage
Moving towards sustainability, the intensive actions are scaled back to minimum levels of effort required to meet conservation targets.

Capacity-building

Future target

About the Capacity-building stage
The capacity building activities within the programme enter the final stage and local partner(s) lead the strategic and operational management of programme.

Final evaluation

Future target

About the Final evaluation stage
A detailed programme evaluation reviews progress towards conservation targets, final responsibilities are passed onto local partners and a new long-term action plan is agreed.

Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase IV: Watching Brief

This phase signals the exit point for Durrell as a species reaches the end of its survival journey.

Watching brief

Future target

About the Watching brief stage
Durrell steps back from the programme and provides technical support to local partners on request.

Population numbers

1976


Rapid assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1977


Rapid response


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1978


Stakeholder engagement


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1987


Full assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1984


Planning & partnership


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1984


Trialling actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

1987


Scaling up actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

1994


Intensive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Ongoing


Adaptive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future target


Minimum management


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future target


Capacity-building


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future target


Final evaluation


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future target


Watching brief


Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase I


Assessment
& Planning


Stages 1 - 5

Phase II


Intensive
Care


Stages 6 - 9

Phase III


Long-term Management


Stages 10 - 12

Phase IV


Watching
Brief


Stage 13