Cucuve de Floreana
The Floreana mockingbird was the first mockingbird species described by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle in 1835. His reports say these birds were widespread across Floreana, however it only took 50 years for the species to become extinct on the island. During his travels he came across three other species of mockingbird in Galapagos. It was his observations of the differences in the three bird species, all derived from a common ancestor, that was used as part of his evidence for evolution by natural selection.
Floreana mockingbirds are almost identical to the Galapagos mockingbird except for their red-brown eyes and dark patches on the side of the breast. They have a long graduated tail with pale tips and a longish curved beak. Unlike other species of mockingbird, Floreana mockingbirds do not mimic other birds. Once found across Floreana, they now exist on two tiny islands off the coast: Champion (0.1km2) and Gardner-by-Floreana (0.8km2) with the overall population consisting of several hundred individuals. It is believed to have become extinct from Floreana due to habitat loss and predation from invasive species.
Floreana mockingbirds in Galapagos
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Floreana Mockingbird Project
"50 years after Darwin's visit, the species was extinct on Floreana."
This ambitious reintroduction project aims to bring back one of Floreana's most iconic species, currently restricted to just two tiny islets off the coast of the island.