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Location Mauritius, Moka,Pamplemousses,Port Louis
Central coordinates 57o 31.00' East  20o 11.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 2,100 ha
Altitude 20 - 823m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The site is a rugged and spectacular mountain chain above the city of Port Louis in north-west Mauritius. The main ridge runs approximately east to west, and three long spurs extend northwards. Major peaks are Pieter Both (823 m), Le Pouce (812 m) and Montagne Ory (c.700 m). The area is much drier than the south-western and eastern forests, most receiving around 1,000–2,000 mm rainfall annually. However, the highest peaks receive extra moisture from cloud, resulting in the presence of native cloud-forest on Le Pouce. This is the only area of native vegetation of significant size, although native plants are scattered throughout the range. Exotic vegetation dominates—most is scrub, but grassland, Eucalyptus plantations and cliffs also occur. Deer-stocking and wildlife tourism (focused mainly on exotic animals) take place in Domaine Les Pailles, in Anse Courtois, and open access areas are popular for recreation.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Reintroduction of Falco punctatus took place successfully in the early 1990s, mainly in the Anse Courtois valley. The birds are expected to spread to occupy much of the Moka Range. Collocalia francica is also present (probably uncommon breeder), while a population of the restricted-range Terpsiphone bourbonnensis appears to have become extinct since 1975.

Non-bird biodiversity: Plant communities: mixed montane forest on Le Pouce is cloud-forest, with several critically endangered species. Other endemic plants: several known from single sites elsewhere in Moka Mountains. Reptiles: Phelsuma guimbeaui, Phelsuma cepediana (endemic). Mammals: Mormopterus acetabulosus (VU) probable.

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 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)  
Moka Mountain Reserves Natural Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Pouce Nature Reserve 69 protected area contained by site 69  

Land use

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

References Cheke (1987a,b), Jones (1987), Jones et al. (1995), Safford (1997a).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Moka mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014

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