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I have not seen the Negros Fruit-dove in person, but several other (also threatened or endangered) closely related species inhabiting South Pacific islands. Illustrating a chick along with the female represents my hope in future efforts to save this species and its habitat. The plight of island endemics is critically dangerous on a global scale. Fruit-doves are often spectacular colors but notoriously difficult to see in the wild; however, they are relentlessly hunted for food, the pet trade, and by invasive introduced predators.
In selecting species to illustrate for the Silent Skies Mural, I chose birds who I have actually seen in the wild or at least their very near relatives. In my other life, I am a wildlife and avian veterinarian, interested in conservation, and serve various organizations in that professional capacity. The opportunity to bring some of the lesser-known and less-spectacular species to light is a real privilege, and reflects the mission of Artists for Conservation. These birds demand and deserve our attention and their extinction would be a tragic loss to the biodiversity and beauty and brilliance of our precious planet.