|Location||Mauritius, Flacq,Grand Port|
|Central coordinates||57o 42.00' East 20o 18.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||100 - 626m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information See Box and Table 2 for key species. The Bambous Range contains a large (by Mauritian standards) area of habitat of great importance for Falco punctatus (successfully reintroduced in 1987; minimum 43 pairs, 1998) and Hypsipetes olivaceus (c.100 pairs, 35% of world population, 1993) and two more restricted-range species: Collocalia francica (probably an uncommon breeder) and Zosterops borbonicus (abundant). In 1997, Montagne Blanche and Montagne Fayence lacked the two threatened species, but F. punctatus is likely to colonize and H. olivaceus may wander there. Zosterops chloronothos is not resident, but occurs nearby on Montagne Lagrave (in the ‘Relict forests of the central plateau’ IBA, MU004) and so might wander to the western Bambous Range.
Site description The site comprises three parallel, mountainous chains of very unequal size in the centre-east and south-east of Mauritius, separated by agricultural land (which is excluded from the site). All three chains are forested, and cliffs are rare. The Bambous (or Grand Port) Range is the highest and most extensive. It is dominated by a 12 km long ridge (east–west), with southward-pointing spurs, between Montagne Chat in the east and Montagne Table à Perrot in the west. Other important peaks are Montagne des Créoles (369 m), Montagne Lion (480 m), Pic Grand Fond (521 m) and Montagne Bambou (626 m, the highest). The Bambous Range contains around 2,600 ha of native vegetation, surrounded by a belt of exotic forest. Around 5 km to the north lies Montagne Blanche (7 km long, highest point 532 m, containing 200 ha of native forest), with Montagne Fayence 2.5 km beyond that (4 km long, highest point 433 m, containing 120 ha of native forest). The vegetation is varied, with some excellent stands of mixed montane forest in parts of the Bambous Range, but dominated by exotics in the more humid parts. Small areas of dry evergreen lowland forest exist in the far east. Deer-ranching and -hunting take place in much of the area, and nature-tourism enterprises operate locally. The upper parts of the mountains are little-disturbed.
|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|
|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|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Endemic plant communities, all rich in rare and endemic species: mixed montane forest (widespread; Bambous Range contains some of the least-invaded wet forest on Mauritius); dry evergreen lowland forest (localized in east). Mammals: Pteropus niger (VU). Reptiles: Phelsuma rosagularis, Phelsuma cepediana (endemic).
Management considerations Small Mountain Reserves exist on parts of the Bambous Range, most of Montagne Blanche, and about one third of Montagne Fayence. The remaining areas are State Land and under no threat of clearance. However, threats are typical of Mauritian forests: invasion by exotic plants (Ravenala madagascariensis is particularly abundant in humid areas at this site), high densities of deer and other exotic herbivores, and mammalian nest-predators. Most of the area is used for hunting, and construction of tracks and clearings has caused more forest loss and soil erosion than most other parts of Mauritius. Nature tourism is being promoted, but this is focused as much on exotic mammals (especially deer and monkeys) as on native wildlife. The Bambous Mountains were the site of the first major reintroduction of Falco punctatus to areas where it had been extirpated, probably by organochlorine pesticide-use. The population is still increasing and expanding its range rapidly. Coracina typica may have disappeared locally for the same reason, and so its reintroduction may also be feasible.
References Cheke (1987a,b), Jones (1987), Jones et al. (1995), Safford (1997a,b), Safford and Jones (1997).
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: East coast mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife