The Mauritian Blue Pigeon is one of the four Alectroenas species and unfortunately the one that is extinct. The other three are the Madagascar Blue Pigeon, the Comoro Blue Pigeon and the Seychelles Blue Pigeon. The latin name of the Mauritian Blue Pigeon is Alectroenas nitidissima which means "unmarried wild pigeon" ('unmarried' because this genus looks distinctly different from other pigeon species) and nitidissima: "the most handsome", "the neatest".In my painting in tried to capture this striking beauty.It was also called "Pigeon Hollandais" because the colours of the bird are the same as the colours of the Dutch flag: red, white and blue.
It became extinct around 1830. Apart from habitat destruction and hunting, introduced predators like Macaques were probably also responsible.Unlike some other extinct Mascarene species we have a good idea what it looked like because some sketches and watercolours of this bird were passed on to us through history. One drawing is from the journal of the Gelderland that shows detailed sketches of a freshly killed specimen.
The stamp, top left, is the rare and famous "Blue Mauritius": value one million dollar. We should wish that the price of this stamp would not proceed the value of conservation.