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Location Mauritius, Black River
Central coordinates 57o 21.00' East  20o 27.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 1,400 ha
Altitude 20 - 596m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description This site is composed of two mountain peaks—Piton du Fouge (596 m) and Piton Canot or Chamarel Peak (530 m)—and their slopes in the extreme south-west of Mauritius. The site extends down almost to sea-level in the south and west, and to the Rivière du Cap in the east. The mountains support two small (totalling 450 ha) native vegetation patches, barely connected in the north to the more extensive forest of the Southern slopes. Most native vegetation is mixed montane forest, but dry evergreen lowland forest occurs in the rain-shadow of the west-facing slopes; all is heavily invaded by exotic plants. Surrounding the native vegetation (especially to the east) is a larger expanse of exotic vegetation (forest, scrub and pasture), which is included here because it is used by native wildlife. Part of the area is intensively managed for deer-hunting, forwhich private vehicle tracks, paths and pastures are maintained.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The area supports two threatened and one near-threatened species, and five of the 10 restricted-range species that occur on Mauritius. Local densities of Hypsipetes olivaceus may be fairly high (5–20 pairs in 1993). Falco punctatus has been reintroduced since 1991 and in 1998 there were 1–10 pairs, probably increasing. Collocalia francica is a common visitor and may breed. Terpsiphone bourbonnensis occupies exotic Tabebuia pallida forest as well as native vegetation, but is probably declining (3–20 pairs in 1993).

Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic plant communities, all rich in rare and endemic species: dry evergreen lowland forest (near the coast in the south); mixed montane forest (on the upper slopes); evergreen bushland and thicket (small area). Plant species: many endemic, several very rare, some known only from this site. Mammals: Pteropus niger (VU, endemic). Reptiles: Phelsuma guimbeaui, Phelsuma cepediana (endemic).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mauritius Kestrel Falco punctatus resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Endangered 
Mascarene Swiftlet Aerodramus francicus resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Mascarene Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone bourbonnensis resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 
Mauritius Black Bulbul Hypsipetes olivaceus resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Mascarene Grey White-eye Zosterops borbonicus resident  1998  present  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Fouge Mountain Reserve Natural Reserve 0 protected area contains site 1,400  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
water management -

References Cheke (1987a,b), Safford (1997a,b)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Chamarel - Le Morne. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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