|Location||Réunion (to France), Saint-Denis|
|Central coordinates||55o 27.00' East 20o 58.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4ii|
|Altitude||410 - 2,277m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Situated in mountains to the north of La Réunion, the site is a plain sloping from the northern rim of the Cirque de Mafate northwards towards the town of Saint-Denis. A deep gorge formed by the Rivière Saint-Denis cuts into this plain, separating the Plaine des Chicots in the east from the Plaine d’Affouches in the west. The lower half (1,000–1,550 m) is covered by mixed montane forest, which is gradually replaced at higher altitude by forest dominated by the endemic Acacia heterophylla (‘tamarin des hauts’). Above 1,600 m, montane shrubland or bushland and thicket dominates, becoming very sparse near the summit of La Roche Ecrite (2,277 m). The trail across the Plaine des Chicots to La Roche Ecrite is much used for recreation. For many years the site has been stocked with exotic deer Cervus timorensis for hunting, and lower parts abutting the site (to the south) used for plantations of the exotic conifer Cryptomeria japonica.
Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site is the only breeding area for Coracina newtoni (entire known population, 120–150 pairs) and supports populations of all the other native, forest-living birds of La Réunion, together with important colonies of Puffinus lherminieri. Up to five pairs of Circus maillardi were present in 1998.
Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic plant communities: rich forest with many endemic plants. Lepidoptera: several endemic moth species. Reptiles: Phelsuma borbonica (endemic).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Puffinus lherminieri||breeding||-||300 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Not Recognised|
|Mascarene Swiftlet Aerodramus francicus||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Reunion Cuckooshrike Coracina newtoni||resident||1998||present||-||A1, A2||Critically Endangered|
|Mascarene Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone bourbonnensis||resident||1998||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Olivaceous Bulbul Hypsipetes borbonicus||resident||1998||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Mascarene Grey White-eye Zosterops borbonicus||resident||1998||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Reunion Olive White-eye Zosterops olivaceus||resident||1998||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Reunion Stonechat Saxicola tectes||resident||1998||present||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island||World Heritage Site||105,838||protected area contains site||3,688|
|Plaine des Chicots - Plaine d'Affouches||Nature Reserve||3,688||is identical to site||3,688|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
References Anon. (1997), Anon. (1998), Attié (1994), Barré et al. (1996), Barré (1988), Cadet (1980), Cheke (1987b), Guillermet and Guillermet (1986), Probst (1993), Thiollay and Probst (1999).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Plaine des Chicots - Plaine d'Affouches. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2015
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