|Location||Mauritius, Black River,Savanne|
|Central coordinates||57o 26.00' East 20o 25.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||20 - 824m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The major block of 4,000 ha of native forest in south-west Mauritius that lies to the south and west of the Black River Gorge system is included in this site, together with adjacent exotic vegetation. Physically, the site comprises the south-facing escarpment leading from the southern coastal lowlands to the central plateau, between the Rivière Savanne at Combo in the east and the village of Chamarel in the west, and also the following linked areas: at the top of the escarpment, Plaine Champagne and Black River Peak; the Black River Gorge system west of the Rivière Noire and Grandes Gorges River; and the southern part of the Bois Sec Basin (but the isolated Bois Sec Nature Reserve is included in IBA MU004, together with the relict forests of the central plateau). Three peaks line the top of the escarpment, from west to east: Black River Peak (824 m, the highest point on Mauritius), Montagne Cocotte (772 m,) and Piton Savanne (704 m). Vegetation is mainly mixed montane forest; this includes cloud-forest on Montagne Cocotte (the wettest site on Mauritius: 5,000 mm of rainfall annually) and rainforest between Piton Savanne and Upper Bel Ombre. Dry evergreen lowland forest occurs in the north and west (as rainfall decreases rapidly westwards), with heterogeneous montane shrubland, bushland and thicket in exposed areas such as Plaine Champagne. Most of the native vegetation is within the Black River Gorges National Park. Much land outside the park is privately-owned, and some is used for deer-hunting.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Mauritius Kestrel Falco punctatus||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Pink Pigeon Nesoenas mayeri||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Echo Parakeet Psittacula eques||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Mascarene Swiftlet Aerodramus francicus||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Mauritius Cuckooshrike Coracina typica||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|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|
|Mauritius Olive White-eye Zosterops chloronothus||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Critically Endangered|
|Mauritius Fody Foudia rubra||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Black River Gorges||National Park||6,574||protected area contains site||6,270|
|Fouge Mountain Reserve||Natural Reserve||0||protected area overlaps with site||0|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Endemic plant communities, all rich in rare and endemic species: rainforest (very diverse, largest area on Mauritius at this site); cloud-forest (unique community on Montagne Cocotte—this and rainforest support several plant species known nowhere else; south flank of Cocotte may have the richest and least degraded forest on Mauritius); other mixed montane forest (Black River Peak and Bel Ombre); montane shrubland or bushland and thicket (Plaine Champagne); dry evergreen lowland forest (north and west of Black River Peak). Reptiles: Phelsuma guimbeaui, Phelsuma rosagularis, Phelsuma cepediana, Gongylomorphus fontenayi (all endemic). Mammals: Pteropus niger (VU), Mormopterus acetabulosus (VU).
References Cheke (1987a,b), Jones (1987), Jones et al. (1995), Jones and Hartley (1995), Safford (1991, 1997a,b,c).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Southern slopes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/07/2014
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