Round Island

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Nestled in the turquoise embrace of the Indian Ocean, Round Island is a pristine haven located just 22.5 kilometers north of Mauritius. Spanning a modest 1.69 square kilometers with a peak elevation of 280 meters, this uninhabited islet has been safeguarded as a nature reserve since 1957. Administered jointly by the National Parks and Conservation Service and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Round Island has earned distinction as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, showcasing its vital role in avian conservation.

Round Island’s restoration journey stands as a testament to dedicated conservation efforts spanning decades. Initiated in response to the dire threat posed by invasive species, particularly goats and rabbits, the restoration project commenced in 1957 under the visionary leadership of Robert Newton, the then Colonial Secretary. Despite initial challenges, concerted eradication efforts led to the successful removal of goats by 1979 and rabbits by 1986, paving the way for the island’s ecological recovery.

Since the eradication of invasive herbivores, Round Island’s once-depleted plant community has experienced a remarkable resurgence, offering a lifeline to endemic flora and fauna. The island’s unique biodiversity, including rare reptiles like the Round Island skink and Round Island day gecko, underscores its significance as a sanctuary for threatened species. Today, Round Island stands as a beacon of hope, embodying the transformative power of conservation in preserving our natural heritage for future generations.