|Location||Mauritius, Grand Port|
|Central coordinates||57o 44.00' East 20o 25.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||0 - 12m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The site is a roughly circular, calcarenitic islet in Grand Port Bay, 900 m from the south-east mainland of Mauritius. It is a remnant of a Pleistocene reef, which emerged around 30,000 years ago when the sea-level dropped, and lies in the dry zone of Mauritius, receiving around 1,400 mm of rain annually. The islet is classified as a Nature Reserve because of the presence of a dry evergreen lowland forest with a unique species composition, and an excellent opportunity for ecological restoration. Another eight islets in Grand Port Bay (near Ile aux Aigrettes) each cover less than 3 ha.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. Threatened species: Falco punctatus (used as reintroduction site for ‘East coast mountains’ IBA, MU005; one pair has bred); Columba mayeri (reintroduced since 1993, 54 birds in 1998, 19% of non-captive population). The islet is one of the most promising sites in Mauritius for marooning other native landbird species. Establishment of seabird populations is also a possibility. Other Grand Port Bay islets have a few nesting Puffinus pacificus and their importance to seabirds could increase in future, with appropriate management, although population sizes cannot be predicted.
Non-bird biodiversity: Plant communities: dry evergreen lowland forest, rich in ebonies Diospyros aigrettarum (habitat otherwise extinct, but probably typical of the eastern lowlands of Mauritius). Plant species: around 18 threatened species present, with more being introduced from mainland or other islets; several almost restricted to islet. Mammals: Pteropus niger (VU; occasional visitor). Reptiles: Gongylomorphus bojerii, Nactus coindemirensis (both endemic to Mauritian islets) on nearby islets (not Ile aux Aigrettes).
|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|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Ile aux Aigrettes||Nature Reserve||25||protected area contained by site||25|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Bell et al. (1994), Dulloo et al. (1997), Jones (1996), Jones et al. (1995), Mauritius Wildlife Appeal Fund (1988, 1989, 1992), Parnell et al. (1989), Safford and Jones (1998).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ile aux Aigrettes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/02/2015
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