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ENCYCLOPÆDIA
Mauritiana
Round Island - Île Ronde
     

Round Island is the remnant of an extinct, eroded and now partly submerged volcanic cone situated about 22 kilometres (15 miles) to the North East of Mauritius, this island is an ecological treasure house. Numerous species of endemic plants some of which no longer exist on the mainland and the presence of endemic reptiles make this island a unique place.

It is some 150 hectares in extent and raises like a cone out of the water to reach a maximum height of 300 metres. The geological basic composition is an agglomeration of tuff, volcanic ash, laid down in compact layers that look like rock.

Round Island is sufficiently isolated that not only is it the final refuge for many Mascarine endemics, but over the eons, a number of unique animals and plants have evolved there, but like Mauritius, it has suffered degradation.

In the early 19th century goats and rabbits were introduced to Round Island. Their browsing was largely responsible for the total loss of the island’s natural hardwood scrub-forest, the severe degradation of the last example of a unique palm association, as well as the loss through erosion of around 90% of the island’s soil. So severe was the destruction that this photo shows the only remaining individual of the Round Island Hurricane Palm on the island. Goats were removed in 1979 and in 1986 Don Merton and team eradicated the rabbits, thus saving this unique plant species along with ~15 other Red Data Book plants & animals in their native home.

 

Articles :

Case Study: Round Island - A Success Story
Les scientifiques s'installent à l'île Ronde
L'Ile Ronde sous surveillance écologique
 
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Round Island - Île Ronde

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Introduction
Success Story
Les scientifiques s'installent à l'île Ronde
L'Ile Ronde sous surveillance écologique

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Geography

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Le Souffleur
Pamplemousse
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Islets

Agalega
Amber Island
Gunners'Coin -
Coin de Mire
Round Island
 

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Links

The Wild Ones Animal Index
Endangered Species Recovery Council
The Mauritius Wildlife Foundation
UN System-Wide Earthwatch Web Site
Wildlife Preservation Trust Canada
School of Biological Sciences University of Bristol
Natural Environment Research Council
Amphibian Reptile & Insect Association
Timber Press: Books on Gardening and Horticultures
The Biodiversity Convention and Kew
Virtual Museum of Natural History : Phelsuma guentheri
Day Geckos : Phelsuma guntheri
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