Species trends: successes and challenges

How are populations of Durrell’s target species responding to conservation? Which species are recovering and which are still in trouble?

This indicator tracks how populations of Durrell’s target species have changed over the history of its involvement. It highlights a number of conservation successes but also some of the major challenges we face.

Monitoring rare and elusive species in remote regions of the world is no easy task, but it is vital. Durrell’s field managers, scientists and local partners conduct regular scientific surveys to ensure we have an accurate understanding of the status of our species and how they are responding to conservation.

We have good data on 40 of our 50+ target species. Around two thirds are currently increasing or stable in numbers, while a third are currently declining.

The Mauritius Kestrel and Saint Lucia Parrot are two of Durrell’s longest-term conservation targets.

In 1974 only four Mauritius Kestrels were left on the planet. Thanks to intensive conservation efforts pioneered by Durrell’s Carl Jones, and later led by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, the Mauritius Kestrel has recovered to around 500 today.

Also back in the 1970s, the Saint Lucia Parrot had dwindled to just 100 birds. Following a long-term collaborative effort by the Saint Lucia Forestry Department, Rare and Durrell its population has now recovered to 2,000 birds.

This indicator also reveals some major challenges. We have recently witnessed catastrophic declines in the Orange-tailed Skink of Mauritius and Mountain Chicken frog in Montserrat following the arrival of invasive species, and demanding immediate conservation responses to save them from extinction...