How a Tiny Island Saved an Entire Species From Extinction


There are few birds, mammals, or even pets with the relatable personality of the magpie. Known for their inquisitiveness, they often mimic sounds, trying to imitate human words, dogs barking, or trucks and machinery. One magpie in Australia was recently filmed imitating a firetruck! The birds often practice a bit of light thievery to gather objects that catch their eye (one recently made a nest out of stolen hangers), and they are the only birds, not to mention non-mammals, that can recognize themselves in mirrors. They’ve even been known to use tools (really) and play games.

The black-and-white winged birds are so familiar and friendly, it’s hard to imagine them disappearing from the earth, like these animals that have gone extinct in the last 100 years. But that’s exactly what was about to happen to one subspecies, the Seychelles magpie robin, which was only found on tiny Fregate Island in the Indian Ocean.

A scary scenario

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