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The Mascarene Parrot – A beautiful parrot from the 19th century

The Mascarene Parrot – A beautiful parrot from the 19th century

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The Mascarene Parrot is a subspecies of the bird family which has been classified as extinct since 1834. The scientific name of the Mascarene Parrot is Mascarinus mascarin. The Mascarene Parrot was an endemic species of the bird family.

It was native to the Mascarene Island in the Indian Ocean.

There is not much known about this species of parrot. Even the exact date and cause of extinction is unclear and a subject of debate. The bird was first described by Dubois in 1674.

Mascarene parrot - Wikipedia

Mascarene Parrot was a medium-sized bird but with a long tail and was just 35 cm in length. It had a large red beak and long white tail feather.

There seemed to be 2 dark central feathers in their tail which caused the illusion of 2 streaks. The Mascarene Parrot had black or ash-grey feathers on the face but the skin around the eyes and nostrils were red and didn’t have any feathers.

The feet of the Mascarene Parrot was reddish-brown.

The last known live specimens of the Mascarene Parrot were living in captivity in Europe. The Mascarene Parrot was alive in cages. This suggests that they had no special diet.

The Mascarene Parrot used to lack psittacine. It’s a pigment which produces orange color instead of white color if there were any deficiency in the melanin production. It might be the reason why some species that had been conserved were white.

The exact reason for the extinction of the Mascarene is unknown but it is believed to a combination of deforestation and hunting.

Thus they were not hunted down for food. But it was a real beauty and thus could have been captured to be kept as a pet. Pet trading has a long history of causing the extinction of various species and this bird could have been one of them.

Maybe it was incapable of breeding in captivity or even surviving outside their natural habitat. This might be one of the major reasons for its extinction. Deforestation also would have played a major role in the destruction of their natural habitat and thus the extinction. Similarly, the exact date of the extinction is also unclear and highly debated. But according to the IUCN Red List, it is 1834.

Nature Picture Library - Illustration of extinct Mascarene parrot ...

The Parrot was a colorful and beautiful bird species. But unfortunately, our generation is unable to witness its beauty.

Whatever be the cause of extinction, we must accepted that there is no way to bring this bird back to life. But various other species are on the verge of extinction whom we can save for our future generation. Let us do our part in saving them.

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