Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Mauritius: Ile aux Aigrettes
Prior to the trip to Mauritius I was fortunate to have stumbled over Charlie Moores wonderful tale describing his visit to Ile aux Aigrettes, a tiny island off the south-east coast of Mauritius. This island has been utilised by the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation to re-establish some of the areas most threatened bird species.
We booked a visit upon arrival on Mauritius, and the mention that one of the party (me!) was a birder secured us a private tour with a warden who specialised in the bird species present.
Our landing on the island was greeted with the first of many Mauritius Fody - a cracking start! This species was introduced to the island in 2003 and now supports a population of over 100 birds. Considering that the MWF website states:
"The Fody is the rarest endemic bird of Mauritius with 100-125 pairs remaining and is considered Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In 2002 MWF began a recovery project to rescue nests from the wild, hand-rear the offspring and release them onto Ile aux Aigrettes, a predator-free offshore island under the conservation management of MWF. This project has been very successful and today there are around 100 birds on Ile aux Aigrettes, the result of releases and offspring produced by the latter".
- So Ile aux Aigrettes is possibly the best place to encounter this species.
Mauritius Pink pigeon now numbers an entire population of 320 birds, a pleasing rise from the population of 12 in 1986...