Mauritius Kestrel

(Falco punctatus)


Mauritius Kestrel IUCN ENDANGERED (EN)


Facts about this animal

The Mauritius Kestrel is a small falcon with a reddish brown crown and nape, streaked with black. The forehead, cheek, chin, and throat are much paler and lightly streaked with black. The upperpart and the wings are reddish brown with crescentic markings on wings and mantle. The breast, abdomen and under tail coverts are whitish with large distinct black spots. The legs and feet are yellow and the iris is dark brown. The sexes are similar in appearance, although the male is noticeably smaller than the female.

Did you know?
that geckos form the largest part of the Mauritius kestrel's diet? But of course the kestrels also eat small birds, small mammals and insects.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Falco punctatus
Name (English) Mauritius Kestrel
Name (French) Crécerelle de Maurice
Name (German) Mauritiusfalke
Name (Spanish) Cernícalo de la Mauricio
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Mike Jordan



Range Mauritius
Habitat Primary habitat was native, evergreen, subtropical forests, but captive-bred birds have shown greater tolerance for degraded and open areas
Wild population 800-1,000 (2005) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 4 reported to ISIS (2005)

In the Zoo

Mauritius Kestrel


How this animal should be transported

Untrained birds travel better in completely dark boxes, with a carpeted floor and roof, with an upwards sliding door at one end and no perch. As a general rule, trained birds are easier to manage in boxes with a carpeted perch at the right height to give plenty of head and tail room, and with a hinged side opening door.


For air transport, Container Note 20 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Mike Jordan

Why do zoos keep this animal

The Mauritius Kestrel was once regarded as the world's rarest bird with only four individuals known to survive. An ex situ conservation breeding and rearing operation was initiated in 1979. By the end of 1987 more than 30 kestrels had been reared in human care, and birds could be released to the wild. As a result of such releases and intensive management, the wild population grew to 650-800 kestrels in the year 2000, more than at any time in the 20th century.