Lessons from the dodo: saving species and rebuilding ecosystems

Carl Jones has saved more species from extinction than almost anyone else alive. Hear him explain the remarkable stories of how the Mauritius kestrel, the pink pigeon and the echo parakeet have been rescued – and how ground-breaking work with giant tortoises is now restoring near-extinct habitats too.

Carl Jones

Carl Jones, MBE, is Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Chief Scientist and the Scientific Director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. His career started when he arrived on Mauritius in the 70s. There were only four Mauritius kestrels left in the wild and extinction seemed highly likely. Carl’s tireless hands-on efforts resulted in their numbers increasing hundredfold, saving this species and many others from extinction. Carl has also pioneered the use of taxon substitutes to fill the gaps left in ecosystem functions by recently extinct species. He is a firm believer in the need to restore the whole ecosystem rather than just focusing on a single species. This conviction led to the creation of the first national park in Mauritius. In recognition of his work, alongside being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, Carl won the Indianapolis prize in 2016, which is often described as the conservationists Nobel Prize.

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