We have a large number of socorro doves.
Location in the Zoo
Some of our socorro doves are on show to visitors and can be found in Brilliant Birds, others are off show as part of the breeding programme.
Breeding Programme Category
They are looked after by the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP)
In the Wild
The Socorro dove (Zenaida graysoni) is extinct in the wild. It was endemic to Socorro Island off the west coast of Mexico. The last sighting of this dove in its natural habitat was in 1972. There are no more than 200 birds in captivity and probably fewer than 100 of these are pure-bred.
The introduction of sheep to the island of Socorro is thought to be one of the major reasons for their decline; the sheep ate the plants the doves probably depended upon for food and shelter. Predation by feral cats and hunting by humans are also thought to be factors in their extinction in the wild as the birds were naturally very “tame” and easy to catch. Conservation organisations are working to restore the island’s habitats so that descendants of zoo-bred birds, such as the ones that can be seen at Edinburgh, will one day repopulate the islands.