Flora and Fauna

Since the island's colonization in the 17th century, its thick forest cover has been destroyed by felling and intensive grazing. The secondary growth with which this has been replaced consists mostly of introduced plant species. Of the 38 or so remaining species of plants native to Rodrigues, all but two are considered endangered, vulnerable, or rare. Species of which continued existence depend on one or two specimens in the wild include cafe marron, bois pipe, and mandrinette and bois pasner.The Mauritian government is acting to protect vegetation plots of critical importance, such as Grande Montagne, Pigeon. Cascades, Moumuk, St Louis and Anse Quitor. These plots are fenced off from animal depredation and carefully weeded to remove the much faster growing introduced species. Rare species are propagated in government nurseries on Rodrigues and then planted in these plots where they have a better chance of survival and regeneration.

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It is hoped that these areas will act as refuges for the island's rare endemic fauna, such as the Rodrigues warbler, Rodrigues fody and Rodrigues fruit bat. The warbler population has made a shaky recovery from virtual extinction in the 1960s to an estimated 50 birds in the early 1990s. The Rodrigues fody population has also increased from very low numbers in the 1960s to approximately 400 birds in 1991. The Rodrigues fruit bat spends the day in communal roosts, usually in old mango trees, and becomes active at night when it searches for fruits, flowers and leaves. A common haunt for the bats is the valley about 4km south of Port Mathurin, towards Mont Lubin. Colonies of seabirds, including fairy tern and noddy, nest on Ile Cocos and Ile aux Sables off the north-west coast.

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Attractions Beaches

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