|Altitude||0 - 800m|
Together with Rodrigues (EBA 103), the volcanic Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is an independent nation, and both are part of the so-called Mascarene Islands (see also EBA 101) (see p.
All the extant restricted-range species occur in remaining native evergreen forest, with only Zosterops borbonicus and, to a lesser extent, Terpsiphone bourbonnensis currently living also in entirely exotic vegetation. None of the restricted-range species shows true altitudinal specialization, and although some appear limited to a particular altitudinal range, this is due to factors such as the distribution of predators (R.
|Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus)||EN|
|Mauritius Blue-pigeon (Alectroenas nitidissimus)||EX|
|Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri)||EN|
|Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques)||EN|
|Mascarene Swiftlet (Aerodramus francicus)||NT|
|Mauritius Cuckooshrike (Coracina typica)||VU|
|Mascarene Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone bourbonnensis)||LC|
|Mauritius Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes olivaceus)||VU|
|Mascarene Grey White-eye (Zosterops borbonicus)||LC|
|Mauritius Olive White-eye (Zosterops chloronothus)||CR|
|Mauritius Fody (Foudia rubra)||EN|
|IBA Code||Site Name||Country|
|MU001||Fouge mountain range||Mauritius|
|MU003||Macchabé - Brise Fer forest||Mauritius|
|MU004||Relict forests of central plateau||Mauritius|
|MU005||East coast mountains||Mauritius|
|MU006||Plaine des Roches||Mauritius|
|MU007||Pont Bon Dieu||Mauritius|
|MU009||Ile aux Aigrettes||Mauritius|
Threats and conservation
Most of the native vegetation on Mauritius has been cleared and replaced by sugar-cane, tea and conifer plantations. Only remnants of original forest remain (c.5% of the island), mainly in the south-west around the Black River Gorge, but even here it is severely degraded by introduced animals and plants (Safford 1997a). Introduced deer Cervus timorensis, pigs and monkeys Macaca fascicularis cause the most damage, but other exotics affecting forest regeneration are rats (principally black rat Rattus rattus, although brown rat R. norvegicus is also present) and introduced invertebrates (especially the giant African snails Achatina fulica and A. panthera, and many insects) (WWF/IUCN 1994). Cyclones occur regularly and can cause extensive damage, especially to already-degraded habitat (e.g. Jones 1994b).
Not surprisingly, all the endemic birds are threatened as a result of habitat loss and continuing degradation, and also because of nest-predation by introduced rats, monkeys and birds (e.g. Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus which affects white-eyes Zosterops in particular). Falco punctatus suffered from organochlorine pesticides in the 1960s, but, following a captive breeding and release programme, made a spectacular recovery from a known population of only six birds to a wild population of 56-68 pairs, with a post-breeding estimate of 229-286 birds in 1994. The population is expected to continue to rise to 500-600 birds (C. G. Jones in litt. 1994).
The status of four species is considered Critical. Columba mayeri was reduced to very low numbers (c.20) with breeding restricted to a single tiny grove of exotic Cryptomeria trees, but a second population from captive-bred birds has been established (aided by supplementary feeding and rat-control and numbering 52 in 1994), and there are plans to extend the release programme, for example to predator-free Ile aux Aigrettes and to a lowland site at Bel Ombre (C. G. Jones in litt. 1994). Psittacula eques, having long since become extinct in the nominate form on R
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Mauritius. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/08/2014
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