Like the kakapo parrot, the black robin is a bird native to New Zealand, whose population nearly went extinct before recovering due to a herculean conservation effort. And when we say this species nearly went extinct, we mean it. In 1980, the black-robin population had dwindled to five. That’s right: five. And only one of the five was a breeding female, named Old Blue. At the time, the black robin was the world’s most endangered species. But conservationist Don Merton found the key to saving them when he noticed that, after Old Blue’s nest was destroyed, she immediately set about laying new eggs. Merton was able to increase Old Blue’s breeding by removing her eggs and cross-fostering them with another species of robins. Sadly, Merton died last year, but his conservation efforts live on, and today, there are 250 black robins, all of them descended from Old Blue.
12 Endangered Species Saved From Extinction in 2012paws for a cause
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