|Location||Mauritius, Outer Islets|
|Central coordinates||57o 47.00' East 19o 51.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4ii, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 276m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description The most famous of the five northern islets of Mauritius, containing the last populations of several taxa extinct elsewhere, because it lacks rodents (and is one of the largest of all rodent-free tropical, high islands). It is a semicircular islet (rather than as its name suggests) composed of beds of welded tuff, with very steep slopes. Much of the islet is devoid of soil, because of weathering from wind and water, exacerbated by browsing and grazing by exotic mammals (goats and rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus). Bare rock areas have been sculpted into numerous overhangs, small caves and pedestals. The vegetation is the sole relict (albeit highly degraded) of the palm-savanna that formerly dominated the coastal areas of northern and western Mauritius. The vegetation includes many exotic species, but eradication (in the 1980s) of goats and rabbits has resulted in radical increases in regeneration and survival of native and exotic plants. The islet is a Nature Reserve and access is strictly forbidden to all but authorized researchers and management staff.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Trindade Petrel Pterodroma arminjoniana||breeding||-||400 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4ii||Vulnerable|
|Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus||breeding||-||50,000 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda||breeding||-||500-700 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus||breeding||-||500-1,000 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - seabirds||breeding||-||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Ile Ronde (Round Island)||Nature Reserve||159||protected area contained by site||159|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Plant community: Mauritian palm-savanna (only site). Plant species: many rare species including Latania loddigesii, Dictyosperma album var. conjugatum, Hyophorbe lagenicaulis (palms, latter two confined to Round Island), Lomatophyllum tormentorii (all E), Pandanus vandermeerschi (R). Reptiles: Phelsuma guentheri (E), Leiolopisma telfairi (V), Casarea dussumieri (E), Nactus serpensinsula (V), Gongylomorphus bojerii (endemic to Mauritian islets). The first three are restricted to Round Island, and a fourth such species, Bolyeria multocarinata, is now probably extinct (last recorded in 1975). Nactus serpensinsula is otherwise known only from Serpent Island (IBA MU013), where a different race occurs. There are several invertebrates endemic to Round Island, for example, the centipede Scolopendra abnormis (VU) and the scale-insect Asterolecianum dictyospermae (Homoptera), the latter known exclusively from one of the two surviving Dictyosperma palms, both of which are on Round Island. In view of such cases, Round Island has been described as having more threatened species per unit area than any other land area in the world.
References Bell et al. (1994), Bullock (1986), Cheke (1987a), Merton et al. (1989), North et al. (1994), North and Bullock (1986), Safford and Jones (1998), Vinson (1950, 1953).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Round Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014
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