|Location||Mauritius, Black River|
|Central coordinates||57o 21.00' East 20o 27.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||20 - 596m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information 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).
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Mauritius Kestrel Falco punctatus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Mascarene Swiftlet Collocalia francica||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Mascarene Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone bourbonnensis||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Mauritius Black Bulbul Hypsipetes olivaceus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Mascarene Grey White-eye Zosterops borbonicus||resident||1998||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|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||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other 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).
Management considerations The area is outside the Black River Gorges National Park, but the forest is protected in a Mountain Reserve, which forms a continuous strip covering all of the native vegetation of Piton du Fouge and Piton Canot. The Mountain Reserve extends north to include Black River Peak, on the ‘Southern slopes’ IBA (MU002). Threats are typical of Mauritian forests: invasion by exotic plants (the creeper Hiptage benghalensis is a particular problem in the dry forest at this site), high densities of deer Cervus timorensis and other exotic herbivores, and mammalian nest-predators.
References Cheke (1987a,b), Safford (1997a,b)
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fouge mountain range. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/06/2013
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