Mauritius | Maurice | Moris

SUB-REGION
Malagasy

SIZE
Mauritius is an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean consisting of a main island of the same name and the outer islands of Rodrigues, Agaléga and the Cargados Carajos Shoals, also known as St Brandon, with a combined total land area of 2,030 km²

BIRDS AND BIRDING

SPECIES
Diversity

A distinctive Malagasy avifauna, but with many introduced species
Approximately 120 recorded species on Mauritius and 50 on Rodrigues, including vagrants and introduced species

Mauritius Kestrel (Jacques de Spéville)
Pink Pigeon (Jacques de Spéville)
Echo Parakeet (Jacques de Spéville)

Endemics (E)
Pink Pigeon (VU)
Mauritius Kestrel (EN)
Echo Parakeet (VU)
Mauritius Cuckooshrike (VU)
Mauritius Bulbul (VU)
Rodrigues Warbler (NT)
Mauritius Grey White-eye (LC)
Mauritius Olive White-eye | Mauritius White-eye (CR)
Mauritius Fody (EN)
Rodrigues Fody (NT)

Mauritius Cuckooshrike (Jacques de Spéville)
Mauritius Bulbul (Jacques de Spéville)
Mauritius Grey White-eye (Jacques de Spéville)
Rodrigues Warbler (Jacques de Spéville)
Rodrigues Fody (Jacques de Spéville)

Birds best found in Mauritius but occurring more widely (BT)
Trindade Petrel

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not near-endemics or BT (1/2), including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Mascarene Swiftlet (ESS francicus)
Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher (ESS desolata)

Proposed splits not yet accepted by IOC
Round Island Petrel (E)
Mauritius Paradise Flycatcher (E)

Other taxa of interest
Common Moorhen (pyrrhorrhoa)
Grey Plover
Common Ringed Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Eurasian Whimbrel
Eurasian Curlew
Bar-tailed Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Curlew Sandpiper
Sanderling
Little Stint
Terek Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Crab-plover
Madagascar Pratincole
Brown Noddy (pileatus)
Lesser Noddy
White Tern
Lesser Crested Tern
Sooty Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Brown Skua
Red-tailed Tropicbird
White-tailed Tropicbird
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Southern Giant Petrel
Cape Petrel
Barau’s Petrel
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Lesser Frigatebird
Masked Booby
Red-footed Booby
Striated Heron (javanica)
Broad-billed Roller
Eleonora’s Falcon
Mascarene Martin (borbonica)

National bird
Mauritius Kestrel | Mangeur de Poules | Mañzer d’Pul

Introduced species
White-faced Whistling Duck
Egyptian Goose
Mallard
Helmeted Guineafowl
Common Pheasant
Grey Francolin
Common Quail
Red-legged Partridge
Rock Dove
Malagasy Turtle Dove
Spotted Dove
Laughing Dove
Zebra Dove
Rose-ringed Parakeet
House Crow
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Common Myna
House Sparrow
Village Weaver
Red Fody
Scaly-breasted Munia
Common Waxbill
Yellow-fronted Canary

MAIN HABITATS
Indigenous forest, islets, pelagic waters

BIRD AREAS
Mauritius Endemic Bird Area (EBA)
Rodrigues EBA
16 Important Bird Areas

BIRDING SITES
Black River Gorges National Park and Île aux Aigrettes for Mauritian forest species
Round Island for Mauritian seabirds
Highlands of Rodrigues for Rodrigues Warbler and Rodrigues Fody

TIMING (Sep–Nov)
Best at the start of the rains when most birds breed
Avoid the main rains and cyclone season (Dec–Apr)

RESOURCES
Apps
Birds of Mauritius (iOS or Android)

Field guides
Birds of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands by Frank Hawkins, Roger Safford & Adrian Skerrett (2015)
Birds of Mauritius, Rodrigues & Islets by Narainsamy Ramen (2018)
Birds of the Mascarene: a Comprehensive Collection of Endemic, Oceanic, Migratory and Exotic Birds of Mauritius, Rodrigues and Reunion/Les Oiseaux des Mascareignes: un Recueil Exhaustif des Oiseaux Endémiques, Océaniques, Migrateurs et Exotiques de Maurice, Rodrigues et la Réunion by Narainsamy Ramen (2012)
Birds of Mauritius by Claude Michel (1992)

Sounds
Bird Sounds of Madagascar, Mayotte, Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius/Oiseaux de Madagascar, Mayotte, Comores, Seychelles, Reunion, Maurice by Pierre Huguet & Claude Chappuis
Bird Song of Mauritius by John Hammick

Site guides
A Birder’s Guide to Mauritius and Réunion (with Seabirds of the Western Indian Ocean) by Dave Sargeant (1993)

Further reading
The Birds of Africa Vol VIII: The Malagasy Region edited by Roger Safford & Frank Hawkins (2013)
Lost Land of the Dodo: the Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues by Anthony Cheke & Julian Hume (2008)
Mauritius by Roger J Safford in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Studies of Mascarene Island Birds edited by A W Diamond (1987)
Birds of the Mascarenes and Saint Brandon by France Staub (1976)
Birds: Île Maurice & Rodrigues by Jacques de Spéville (2014)
Birds of the Indian Ocean/Les Oiseaux de l’Océan Indien by Narainsamy Ramen (2022)
Articles in Scopus, Bull. ABC, The Mauritius Institute Bulletin, Echo News (MWF Newsletter), etc.

Websites
Birdman of Mauritius

ORGANISATIONS

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) is the BirdLife Partner in Mauritius

Other bird or conservation organisations active in Mauritius include –
Council for Nature Conservation
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT)
Reef Conservation Mauritius
Casela Nature Parks

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