Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve
Île aux Aigrettes is a small island located 850 m (2,790 ft) off the south-east coast of Mauritius and roughly a kilometer (0.62 mi) from the coastal village of Mahebourg. It has an area of 27 hectares (67 acres). Unlike the majority of Mauritius which is from volcanic rock, the island is formed from coral-limestone.
The island was named after a colony of egrets (white herons) that once inhabited it. In the 17th century, the island was used as a coconut plantation. In the 19th century, it was used as a quarantine station for ships arriving from Europe. In the 20th century, it was used for military purposes during World War II.
In 1965, the island was declared a nature reserve. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) has been working to restore the island's native vegetation and wildlife. The island is a thriving ecosystem and home to a variety of rare and endangered plants and animals, including the pink pigeon, the Mauritius kestrel, and the Mauritius olive dove.
Île aux Aigrettes is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can take guided tours of the island and learn about the conservation efforts that are being made. View the website of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation to book tours of Île aux Aigrettes. You can call the MWF on (+230) 5 258 8139.