D'Arros Island and Saint Joseph Atoll

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
The site is an oval-shaped, flat, low-lying coral island situated c.250 km west-south-west of Mahé in the Amirantes group. The vegetation is dominated by coconut-palms and Casuarina equisetifolia. It is privately owned, with one large house for use of guests, who rent the island, and a collection of smaller, permanently occupied houses for the island’s staff. A small area of the island is cultivated. The island is bisected by an airstrip. There are no regular flights but, occasionally, scheduled flights to nearby Desroches divert to D’Arros.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Five Foudia sechellarum from Cousin were introduced in 1965 by an expedition from Bristol University, UK. The birds have become established and now c.100 pairs occur alongside introduced Foudia madagascariensis, Passer domesticus and Geopelia striata, as well as rats and feral cats. One other landbird occurs, Streptopelia picturata (origin unknown) .

Non-bird biodiversity: The turtles Chelonia mydas (EN) and Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) nest and may be taken by poachers, though the current management is sympathetic to their conservation.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
No conservation measures have been taken. Eradication of introduced cats and rats would increase the potential of the island for birds.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: D'Arros Island and Saint Joseph Atoll. Downloaded from on 14/12/2019.