|Location||French Southern Territories|
|Central coordinates||40o 22.00' East 22o 20.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 12m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Europa is an island in the southern Mozambique Channel, 350 km west-south-west of Morombe, Madagascar. It is one of the least modified coralline islands in the western Indian Ocean and was formed from the progressive filling of an ancient atoll which appeared 90,000 years ago. It is composed of a central lagoon largely surrounded by mangrove Rhizophora mucronata; shrubland, bushland and thicket, dominated by Psiadia altissima, Suriana maritima and/or Pemphis acidula; Euphorbia stenoclada dry forest; Sclerodactylon macrostachyum grassland; halophile vegetation (Arthrocnemum indicum) and a fringing beach- and dune-system rising to 12 m, the highest land on the island. In all, 33–46 angiosperm species occur. Eighteen people live on the island in shifts of 45 days; three occupy a meteorological station, and 15 are military servicemen.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idae||breeding||-||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda||breeding||-||3,000-4,000 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus||breeding||-||500-1,000 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel||breeding||-||1,000-1,200 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Red-footed Booby Sula sula||breeding||-||2,800-3,800 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata||breeding||-||500,000-1,000,000 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Europa Nature Reserve||National Park||3,000||is identical to site||3,000|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity The island is a nesting site for the sea-turtle Chelonia mydas (EN), and Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) and Caretta caretta (EN) are also present. There are two endemic lizard subspecies (Mabuya comorensis infralineata and Cryptoblepharus boutonii bitaeniatus). Overall, the coral island ecosystem is one of the finest in the Indian Ocean.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Europa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/12/2013
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