Tag Archives: captive breeding

Biodiversity challenge – Mangrove finch


Darwin’s darling,
One foot
In the tomb.
The famous finch
One inch
From doom.
Oppressed by
Uninvited guests,
One hundred
Beaks unique
To Isabela’s
Salty womb
Hunker down
Inside their
Hundred hectare
Panic room.
A wing,
A prayer,
One square
Kilometre of light
Amid the gloom.
One final fling:
Bring on the
Baby boom.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2015

Biodiversity challenge – Sable antelope

The one that got away

You cannot hope
To translocate
A sable antelope
With nothing but a crate
And flimsy rope.

Without the proper tools
The best laid captive breeding plan
Can go awry
That’s why
It’s best not to rely
On fools.

It just takes
Two mistakes:
Someone forgets to close a gate,
Someone neglects to tie a rope;
Two dolts,
Two fatal flaws.
Too late,
You turn to face
An empty crate;
A classic case of
Shutting doors
After the sable bolts.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Przewalski’s horse

Hold your horses

Experts were inclined to think
Przewalski’s horse was on the brink,
That in due course this horse would be
Pronounced extinct for all eternity.
But its name had the rare distinction
Of being pretty unpronounceable,
So imminent equine extinction
Proved eminently unannounceable.

When asked to comment, one horse said:
‘Reports of our demise were pure manure,
And captive breeding means we won’t be needing
Epitaphs just yet; it would be premature
At this stage to pronounce me dead.’

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Biodiversity challenge – Socorro dove

High coo

Sad Socorro dove
Softly murmuring above
Lofty words of love.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Species profile: Socorro dove

IUCN Red List Category: Extinct in the wild

Named after the remote offshore Mexican island where it used to live, the Socorro dove became extinct in the wild in the 1970s . Having evolved on an island with no natural predators, this tame, confiding, ground-feeding dove was extremely vulnerable to the invasive rats and domestic cats that had been accidentally or deliberately introduced to Socorro by humans. Overgrazing by feral sheep and goats and foliage damage caused by locust infestations also destroyed much of the native forest vegetation on which the dove depended for survival. A worldwide captive breeding programme has saved the Socorro dove from extinction, but it cannot be reintroduced to the island until the non-native species have been removed or eradicated and the native vegetation restored.