A representative picture of a Dodo bird. Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia Commons/2.0 Generic
A group of scientists are trying to bring back the extinct Dodo bird to life and re-introduce them to Mauritius.
Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and US-based biotechnology and genetic engineering company Colossal Biosciences have signed a partnership with regard to the project.
The Foundation said in a statement: "We are thrilled to inform you that Colossal Biosciences , the US, breakthrough genetic engineering and de-extinction company, has signed a partnership agreement with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation."
"This partnership aims at setting up the ground work to be carried out in Mauritius for the ambitious project of resurrecting and rewilding the Dodo, together with our local partners, to make this project a success," it said.
Colossal and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation also plan to collaborate on the restoration of critical ecosystems through invasive species removal, revegetation, and community awareness efforts.
"These habitats will, in the long term, support Dodo populations as well as other native Mauritian species. In addition, the two organizations will be investigating if techniques developed for the dodo can assist with the genetic rescue of the Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri)," the statement said.
What is a Dodo bird?
The dodo is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, which is east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
The Dodo's closest relative was the also-extinct and flightless Rodrigues solitaire.
The two formed the subfamily Raphinae, a clade of extinct flightless birds that were a part of the family which includes pigeons and doves.
The bird has been extinct since 1681.
Why Dodo needs to be revived?
Ben Lamm, CEO and co-founder of Colossal, told CNN that “restoring the dodo gives us the opportunity to create ‘conservation optimism,’ that hopefully inspires people around the globe, specifically the youth, in a time when climate change, biodiversity loss and politics can make things seem hopeless.”
He added that the techniques pioneered by the dodo project could help restore other avian species.
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