|Location||Mauritius, Moka,Pamplemousses,Port Louis|
|Central coordinates||57o 31.00' East 20o 11.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|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.
|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 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||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Cheke (1987a,b), Jones (1987), Jones et al. (1995), Safford (1997a).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Moka mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2015
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