Most people know Mauritius as a paradise for holidays and honeymoons. But it is also an island in need of immediate conservation action. Only 5% of its original native forest remains today. And with so little of the island’s original forest left, it’s not surprising that around ten bird species, including the infamous dodo, have become extinct.
Many plants and animals are unique to Mauritius and its neighbouring island of Rodrigues. It’s a biodiversity hotspot that urgently needs greater protection. Without help, the flora and fauna of these beautiful islands could go the way of the dodo. Our partners, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) have been the driving force behind several conservation successes. They and their partners have saved the Mauritius kestrel, echo parakeet and pink pigeon from extinction.
We’re working with MWF to help more species; our staff expertise is crucial in this partnership, with successes including the conservation breeding of the Mauritius fody, resulting in their down listing from Critically Endangered to Endangered.
Our horticulture and education teams are also working hard with our partners on training and capacity building to conserve the biodiversity of the area and we’re currently assisting a number of species conservation projects which are all vital to the future of these islands.
Since 1987, MWF has been managing the lle aux Aigrettes nature reserve. This little island is a glorious showcase of Mauritian wildlife – a reminder of how Mauritius was before European settlers arrived. It’s a sanctuary for animals and plants that exist nowhere else in the world, and the perfect place to raise awareness of their beauty and importance.
With your help, we hope to continue this important work.
In 2011, the MWF initiated a census to assess the population size and distribution of several bird species. The survey has just been completed and the results for some species are reassuring. The survey also highlighted the importance of the conservation action taken...
Victoria Kaldis travelled to Mauritius to assist with bird surveying and observation. Read how she got on.
We're part of an important on-going search for wild bird territories and nests with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. Read the second part of a report from Steve Williams, Bird Keeper at Chester Zoo.