The pink pigeon is a mid-sized pigeon similar to the common pigeon found in cities around the world. It sports light pink feathers on its body, as well as a dark pink bill, legs and feet.
The pigeons feed on buds, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds of both native and exotic plants. Their long breeding season extends from December to September, peaking between April and June. Both parents take part in building nests, incubating the eggs and rearing the chicks. A clutch consists of one to two eggs, which take 14 days to hatch. If the eggs are lost, the pink pigeon will lay another clutch.
Native only to Mauritius, the pink pigeon used to be widely distributed throughout the island. Today, pink pigeons are found only in four sub-populations located in remote, forested or mountainous regions of southwestern Mauritius.
In the early 1990s, the population was down to just 10 birds in the wild. Since then, the population has increased thanks to ongoing intensive management, including breeding and releasing pink pigeons and providing supplementary food. The wild population is now estimated at over 350 birds in six subpopulations. Despite this success, this species is still listed as Endangered.
Threats include the predators that humans have brought to Mauritius: rats, mongooses, macaques and feral cats. A number of bird species have also been introduced to the island, carrying diseases and competing with pink pigeons for food. Pink pigeons also have to contend with limited and degraded habitat and natural disasters such as cyclones.