The site covers the central ridge and valleys radiating from it, including most of the native and exotic woody vegetation on Rodrigues. It occupies about one half of the island. The main habitats for native birds are exotic forest and thickets; the forest is dominated by Tabebuia pallida, Mangifera indica, Casuarina equisetifolia and other exotics, and a few native tree species, while most thickets are of exotic Syzgium jambos. Such habitat is patchily distributed, mainly in valleys, with the largest stands in the sheltered valleys of Solitude and Cascade Pigeon. Native plants elsewhere are widely scattered, although concentrations occur at a few sites.
See Box and Table 2 for key species. Two species are endemic to the Rodrigues mainland. Populations of both have fluctuated, reaching a low point of less than 10 pairs each following habitat loss and severe cyclones in the late 1960s. However, as woody habitat has recovered and been protected, and in the absence of catastrophic cyclones, their populations have increased. In 1998, the distribution of Foudia flavicans included most of the island’s woody vegetation taller than 5 m, and is still expanding as new plantations reach maturity. In 1999, the population was 911–1,200 birds and the main sites were Solitude, Cascade Pigeon, Saint Gabriel, Sygangue, Grande Montagne and Mont Malartic. Acrocephalus rodericanus is much rarer, but still probably less at risk than for a long time; in 1999, the population was estimated at 150 birds, probably slowly increasing. Its main haunts in 1999 were Solitude, Cascade Pigeon, Montagne Cimetière, St Gabriel, Grande Montagne and Mont Limon. Pterodroma baraui has also once (1974) been found nesting, but this incidence has not been repeated.
Non-bird biodiversity: Plants: a devastated but still unique flora, with 36–38 taxa of endemic flowering plants (19–21 are Endangered, seven Vulnerable and eight Rare), including Ramosmania rodriguesiana (=R. heterophylla), Dombeya rodriguesiana and Gouania leguatii, all known from single individuals; three endemic ferns (one Rare, one Endangered). Mammals: Pteropus rodricensis (CR). Molluscs: 10 endemic land-snail species, four highly endangered.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rodrigues mainland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/09/2019.