In Mauritius there are 9 species of endemic, 4 species of indigenous
birds, 8 species of oceanic birds and 15 species of exotics .
In 1602, the Captain Willem Van
Westzanen gave a first description of the birds he found. He
mentioned the existence of Pigeons, Parakeets, Sparrows, Birds
of Prey and Owls ,amongst others. A few years prior, in 1598, the
men of Vice Admiral Van Warwick encountered what is now the
very symbol of extinction: the Dodo ( Raphus cucullatus ). The
flightless Dodo has been described as a large bird with a very
big hooked bill, lean and unpalatable in summer, fat and tasty
in winter. Within decades, the Dodo had become so rare that it was
to be seen only on very few occasions. The last reported
sightings of Dodos were in 1662 on "Ile Aux Cerfs" and "Ile De
L'Est". It most probably became extinct soon after.