With unique endemic flora and fauna often found nowhere else in the world, Mauritius has experienced a widespread decline in native species since its original settlement. According to the Mauritian Forestry Service, “only around 2% of the land area of Mauritius is considered to be covered with good quality native forests.” The Ministry of Environment & Sustainable Development’s 2011 Environment Outlook Report outlines invasive alien species as a major threat to the island’s native biodiversity.
Mauritius has the third most threatened island flora in the world, after Hawaii and the Canary Islands…-IUCN
Reintroducing endemic trees and other flora to a designated site at Plaines des Roches
The area is currently covered by sugarcane and non-native eucalyptus trees. After teaming up with conservators from the Mauritian Forestry Service, it was determined that the site is an ideal location for endemic planting. The land’s topography and geology are able to sustain a wide range of endemic trees. As well, the is area also home to the endangered Mauritian Fruit Bat, and by including endemic, fruit-bearing trees in our forest, we can expand the amount of habitable land for the bats.
Promoting environmental education
Students from ELI Africa’s centers will work together with community-hired labors to plant endemic trees and other flora. The location offers an ideal setting to teach our students about the surrounding ecosystem, our greater environmental curriculum, and how citizens both impact and benefit from the island’s environment.
By implementing this curriculum, we can inspire and empower a generation of at-risk Mauritian students to advance their capabilities in life and take stewardship of their country’s natural environment.
Raising environmental awareness in the local community
Reforestation efforts across the island often have the residual effect of becoming a place for the local community to enjoy and learn from. We plan to open up the forest to the local community, free of charge. Waste and recycling bins will be placed along the path, as will information notices about the different trees and the impact of waste in the environment, to increase environmental awareness, inspire personal endemic planting, and encourage mindfulness of proper waste disposal.
Our endemic plants
- 100 Hibiscus Fragilis (Endangered)
- 40 Dispyros egrettaum (Endangered)
- 25 Dracaena Concinna (Endangered)
- 40 Diospyros tesselaria
- 40 Barleria observatrix
- 40 thespesia populnea
- 25 Cassine orientallis
- 60 ochna mauritiana
- 10 hyophorbe verschaffeltii
- 10 hyophorbe lagenicaulis
- 10 dictyosperma album
- 40 pandanus vandermeeschii
- 15 Cossina pinnata (Bois Judas)
- 52 Dracaena conccina (Bois Chandelle Ile Aux Aigrettes)
- 50 Dianella Vert (Dianella vert)
- 50 Chandelle Divers (Chandelle divers)
- 50 Psiadia Arguta (Baume de Lile Plate)
- 5 Cyphostemma mappia (Bois Mapou)
- 3 Disthephanus Populifolius (Silver bush)
- 50 Dodonaea Viscosa (Bois de Pommes de Reinette)