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Location Mauritius, Grand Port,Moka,Plaine Wilhems
Central coordinates 57o 32.00' East  20o 21.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 580 ha
Altitude 350 - 700m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site includes patches of native vegetation, covering up to 210 ha, scattered over the southern part of the central plateau (350–700 m). They are either isolated mountain peaks unsuitable for forestry (Piton du Milieu, Montagne Lagrave, Montagne Laselle, Montagne d’Hauvillard, Kanaka Crater); areas saved from clearance because of botanical importance (Bois Sec, Les Mares, Gouly Père, Perrier); or areas saved for reasons not documented (Rivière du Poste, Jouanis, Monvert). The whole region is very humid and various native plant communities are represented, as well as spectacular landscapes such as the exposed volcanic plug of Piton du Milieu and the very sharp ridge of Montagne Laselle. Ranching and hunting of deer are limited to a few of the patches. Several patches are reserves. The native forest of State Land Monvert and Montagne Lagrave is fenced.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Seven threatened or near-threatened species are present, with important populations of three: Hypsipetes olivaceus (widespread at very low density in native and sporadically exotic forest 15–24 pairs, 1993); Zosterops chloronothos (exploits small areas of suitable habitat, but not known east of Montagne Lagrave, 30–70 pairs, 1993), Foudia rubra (Grand Bassin and Rivière du Poste only, 6–7 pairs, 1993). Of the remaining threatened/near-threatened species Psittacula eques is a rare non-breeding visitor (probably visits only when preferred food-plants are fruiting), Collocalia francica is probably an uncommon breeder, Coracina typica (Bois Sec and Grand Bassin only, disappeared from remoter patches since 1975, 4–6 pairs, 1993). The eight restricted-range species at the site include Terpsiphone bourbonnensis (small numbers, also in exotic river valley vegetation, 6–30 pairs, 1993) and Zosterops borbonicus (abundant). The site’s importance for birds is disproportionate to its small area. The richest native bird communities were (in 1993) found in patches nearest the main south-western forest block (‘Southern slopes’ IBA, MU002). It is the main area for the near-threatened exotic Anas melleri on Mauritius (small, introduced population, especially near Piton du Milieu).

Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic plant communities, all rich in rare and endemic species: cloud-forest (on Montagne Lagrave, highest native pteridophyte diversity in Mauritius); rainforest; other mixed montane forest (at Perrier, finest ‘Sideroxylon formation’); montane shrubland (on Montagne Laselle, very rare heath community). Many extremely rare plants are known from these sites (in several cases, only one site), for example Tectiphiala ferox (monotypic palm genus, E). Reptiles: Phelsuma rosagularis, Phelsuma cepediana (endemic). Mammals: Pteropus niger (VU), Mormopterus acetabulosus (VU).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Meller's Duck Anas melleri winter  present  A1  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 areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bois Sec Nature Reserve 6 protected area contained by site 6  
Gouly Pere Nature Reserve 11 protected area contained by site 11  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

References Cheke (1987a,b), Jones (1987), Safford (1991, 1993a, 1997a,b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Relict Forests of the Central Plateau. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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