The site comprises the peaks, cliffs and ridges radiating from Le Grand Bénard (2,896 m), including parts of the rims of the Cirque de Cilaos and the Cirque de Mafate, together with the western part of the Cirque de Cilaos (Le Tapcal). The spectacular terrain results from erosion of the volcanic Piton des Neiges massif. The summits and ridge-tops are almost devoid of vegetation, but the slopes and ledges support montane shrubland or bushland and thicket characteristic of high altitudes. Le Tapcal is covered with a fine stand of mixed montane forest, although exotics dominate in a few small areas.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site supports important colonies of two seabird species, including Pterodroma baraui (2–3 colonies), for which only one other breeding area (RE001) is known. All of the forest-living endemic birds of La Réunion occur except Coracina newtoni. In 1997, 1–3 pairs of Circus maillardi were present.
Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic plant communities: forest, shrubland and bushland and thicket rich in endemic plants.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Grand Bénard - Tapcal. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2020.