The Socorro dove is a medium-sized dove which mainly lives and moves on the ground. The dove is a cinnamon colour, with a blue-grey back and pinkish neck.
Having evolved on a remote island, the Socorro dove is naive to predatory mammals. So when cats were introduced to the island of Socorro, the doves lacked the behaviour to escape. Sadly, this species is now extinct in the wild, making it one of the rarest species held at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
The dove is predominantly a ground dweller and searches for food amongst the vegetation. It will mainly eat seeds, but also eat some fruits, berries and insects.
When alive in the wild, the Socorro dove lived in forests. It was an endemic species to the island of Socorro, off the coast of Mexico.
The last recorded sighting of a Socorro dove in the wild was in 1972. Now there are around just 100 held in human care in zoos around the world – including 25 birds in six UK zoos. Coordinated conservation breeding of the birds by organisations such as Bristol Zoo has prevented the total extinction of the species.
Socorro doves were native to the island of Socorro, 600 miles off the western coast of Mexico. They died out after falling prey to a rising number of feral cats in the area. In addition, overgrazing sheep destroyed much of their forest floor habitat and the birds were hunted by humans for food.
Don't be deceived by their meek and gentle appearance… Many species of dove can be antisocial and aggressive to one another. Socorro doves are often solitary and rarely seen in groups larger than a breeding pair. Males will chase away strangers and defend their home range from other males.
You can find our Socorro doves in Zona Brazil
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