|Central coordinates||55o 25.00' East 4o 38.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||0 - 914m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description This site occupies the north-western and central part of Mahé (c.20% of the whole island) and contains Morne Seychellois National Park (3,090 ha), which includes the highest mountain of Seychelles (914 m). Its steep slopes are covered with dense secondary forests and shrub woodland, interrupted by impressive cliffs and granite boulders (glacis). This IBA also includes the mountainous area to the south-east, between the former Satellite Tracking Station (New Savy), Cascade, Montagne Planeau, Grand Bois, Castor, Varigault and Mont Sébert. This area lies outside the national park, but a project exists to partially protect it. The adjacent areas of La Misère and Cascade, also included, are mainly occupied by man-modified habitats, such as residential areas, orchards, small-scale agriculture and cattle farms, tea plantations, roads, powerlines and other infrastructure. Forests of low and intermediate altitudes are dominated by exotic, invasive trees (mainly Cinnamomum verum, Paraserianthes falcataria and Alstonia macrophylla), shrubs (the invasive exotic Chrysobalanus icaco), and huge granite boulders but, above 600 m in the Morne Seychellois National Park, stands of primary moist forest with few exotics still remain. Endemic species include Medusagyne oppositifolia and Vateriopsis sechellarum (both very rare), Dillenia ferruginea and Northea hornei (more common), Phoenicophorium borsigianum and Nephrosperma vanhoutteanum, Erythroxylum sechellarum, Nepenthes pervillei and Secamone schimperianus. During the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries extensive exploitation of timber and cinnamon production took place. Present human activities (forestry, nature conservation/research, tourism and a little tea cultivation), are limited to less than 10 % of the total area of the IBA.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Seychelles Kestrel Falco araea||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Seychelles Blue-pigeon Alectroenas pulcherrima||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Seychelles Scops-owl Otus insularis||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Seychelles Swiftlet Collocalia elaphra||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Seychelles Bulbul Hypsipetes crassirostris||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Seychelles White-eye Zosterops modestus||resident||2005||50 individuals||unknown||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Seychelles Sunbird Nectarinia dussumieri||resident||1999||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Morne Seychellois||National Park||3,045||protected area contained by site||3,045|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Four species of frogs and six species of caecilians endemic to Seychelles occur. The IBA is the main stronghold for the rare endemic tiger chameleon Chamaeleo tigris and contains important populations of the endemic snakes Lamprophis geometricus and Lycognathophis seychellensis. Several endemic skinks and geckos are also present. The site also hosts small numbers of the bat Coleura seychellensis seychellensis (CR) and large numbers of the bat Pteropus seychellensis.
References Beaver and Chong-Seng (1990–1992), Fanchette et al. (2000), Fourmy (1999), Loustau-Lalanne (1962), Mee (1996), Mellamby et al. (1997), Rocamora (1997a, b), Skerrett and Bullock (1992), Watson (1981a).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mahé highlands and surrounding areas. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2014
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