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Mauritius Forest Figures

Forest Cover
Total forest area: 37,000 ha
% of land area: 18.2%

Primary forest cover: n/a
% of land area: 0.0%
% total forest area: n/a

Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -200 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.5%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: 105.3%
Total forest loss since 1990: -2,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-5.1%

Primary or "Old-growth" forests
Annual loss of primary forests: n/a
Annual deforestation rate: n/a
Change in deforestation rate since '90s: n/a
Primary forest loss since 1990: n/a
Primary forest loss since 1990:n/a

Forest Classification
Public: 52.6%
Private: 47.4%
Other: 0%
Production: 29.7%
Protection: 43.2%
Conservation: 21.6%
Social services: 8.1%
Multiple purpose: n/a
None or unknown: n/a

Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 37,000 ha
Primary: n/a
Modified natural: 22,000 ha
Semi-natural: n/a
Production plantation: 11,000 ha
Production plantation: 4,000 ha

Plantations, 2005: 15,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 40.5%
Annual change rate (00-05): n/a

Carbon storage
Above-ground biomass: 6 M t
Below-ground biomass: 2 M t

Area annually affected by
Fire: n/a
Insects: n/a
Diseases: n/a

Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: 194
Critically endangered: 41
Endangered: 14
Vulnerable: 9

Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 8,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 6,000 m3 o.b.

Value of forest products, 2005
Industrial roundwood: $137,000
Wood fuel: $7,000
Non-wood forest products (NWFPs): $26,149,000
Total Value: $26,293,000

More forest statistics for Mauritius

Forest loss on this island country occurred over a relatively brief span of time. Early Dutch sailors wiped out wildlife, including the famous dodo bird, but inflicted little actual damage on the forest. During the late 1700s and early 1800s, French colonists cleared large tracts of forest for sugar cane plantations, as a source of fuelwood to power mills, and as a source for timber. After the French, very little forest remained, mostly restricted to mountain areas. From 1948 to 1973 the entire landscape was doused with DDT which severely affected bird populations.

Today 18.2%—or about 37,000 hectares—of Mauritius is forested. Of this, none is classified as primary forest. Mauritius lost 5.1% of its forest cover, or around 2,000 hectares between 1990 and 2005, and nearly 10% of its natural vegetative cover. Mauritius has some 188 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 29.3% are endemic and 11.2% are threatened. Mauritius is home to at least 750 species of vascular plants, of which 43.3% are endemic. 29.8% of Mauritius is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

Suggested reading - Books

Unless otherwise specified, this article was written by Rhett A. Butler [Bibliographic citation for this page]

Other resources

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Image copyright Google Earth, MDA EarthSet, DigitalGlobe 2005

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Last updated: 4 Feb 2006