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Richard Branson reintroducing bird populations to Virgin Islands more than 100 years after they were wiped out

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Richard Branson hopes the Scarlet Ibis will once again flourish in the British Virgin Islands. (Charlie Smith/ …

Virgin Media mogul Richard Branson announced through his blog that his company is in the process of reintroducing three species of birds to the British Virgin Islands. The three speciesthe Flamingo, the Scarlet Ibis and the Roseate Spoonbillhaven't been seen there for 100 to 150 years.

"This is the first Scarlet Ibis born in the British Virgin Islands for over 100 years" Branson writes on his blog. "They are completely different colour to their parents, which I suspect is so they are not so noticeable to predators when they are young. They turn the incredible scarlet colour after a couple of years."

Along with the Scarlet Ibis birth, Branson says that the flamingo program has been a "fantastic success," with 70 birds born there in 2012 alone.

"We hope in time to have the same success with the Scarlet Ibis as we have had with the Flamingos, so the British Virgin Islands as a whole can enjoy the beauty of these birds," Branson wrote.

Flamingos once flourished in the Virgin Islands, though their numbers deteriorated after a combination of modern development and hunting from the human population.

The flamboyant billionaire has made plenty of headlines in recent months. Last month, Branson gained some attention when Virgin Airlines announced it would be offering ice cubes molded in his likeness. And he's making headlines in Canada this week after suggesting that B.C. Premier Christy Clark join him for a kite surfing expedition—while naked.

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A baby Scarlet Ibis before it develops its distinctive coloring (Charlie Smith/Virgin)

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