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Location Mauritius, Grand Port
Central coordinates 57o 44.00' East  20o 25.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 27 ha
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).

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 
Pink Pigeon Nesoenas mayeri resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Endangered 

Protected areas

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

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

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mauritius South-Eastern Islets. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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