Guam Rail Bird Recovers From Extinction In Wild : Short Wave For nearly forty years, the Guam Rail bird (locally known as the ko'ko') has been extinct in the wild — decimated by the invasive brown tree snake. But now, after a decades-long recovery effort, the ko'ko' has been successfully re-introduced. It is the second bird in history to recover from extinction in the wild. Wildlife biologist Suzanne Medina tells us the story of how the Guam Department of Agriculture brought the ko'ko' back, with a little matchmaking and a lot of patience.

The Comeback Bird: Meet the Ko'Ko'

The Comeback Bird: Meet the Ko'Ko'

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Celestino Aguon, division chief of the Division of Aquatic & Wildlife Resources at the Guam Department of Agriculture, participates in a release of Ko'Ko' on Cocos Island in 2010. Ginger Haddock/Guam Department of Agriculture hide caption

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Ginger Haddock/Guam Department of Agriculture

Celestino Aguon, division chief of the Division of Aquatic & Wildlife Resources at the Guam Department of Agriculture, participates in a release of Ko'Ko' on Cocos Island in 2010.

Ginger Haddock/Guam Department of Agriculture

For nearly forty years, the Guam Rail bird (locally known as the Ko'Ko') has been extinct in the wild — decimated by the invasive brown tree snake. But now, after a decades-long recovery effort, the Ko'Ko' has been successfully re-introduced. It is the second bird in history to recover from extinction in the wild. Wildlife biologist Suzanne Medina tells us the story of how the Guam Department of Agriculture brought the Ko'Ko' back, with a little matchmaking and a lot of patience.

Follow host Maddie Sofia @maddie_sofia and reporter Emily Kwong @emilykwong1234 on Twitter. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le.