The red fody (Foudia madagascariensis), sometimes known as the Madagascar fody, red cardinal fody or common fody, is a small bird native to Madagascar.
The red fody is about 5 inches in length and weighs 14–19 grams. The male of the species is bright red with black markings around each eye. Its wings and tail are olive-brown. The female fody's upper body is olive-brown and its underbody is greyish-brown.
It is a common bird found in forest clearings, grasslands and cultivated areas. In Madagascar it is regarded as a pest to rice cultivation. It has been introduced to other areas of the Indian Ocean, included the Amirantes, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and Réunion.
Impact on native birds
In different parts of introduced range this species show different impact on native birds.
At Aldabra birds began to colonize atoll from Assumption island (where they were introduced in 1970-s) hybridize with endemic Aldabra fody. To protect Aldabra fody and atoll's introduced birds free status Seychelles island foundation have eradicated Madagascar fody from Aldabra and Assumption.
In Mauritius researches show that Madagascar fody and endemic Mauritius fody can co-exist due to their different diet and habitat preference.
In granitic Seychelles cases of hybridisation with endemic fody were noticed, but they are considered to rare to pose a threat to endemic species and difference of two species in diet may restrice survival of hybrid birds.
In Rodrigues they are concerns about threats of Madagascar fody for Rodrigues fody, but it was not studied yet.
In other parts of introduced range no impact on native biodiversity noticed and no researches of this subject have taken place.
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