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Roche-Ecrite Nature Reserve

Last remaining distribution range of the tuit-tuit

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Territory : Réunion
Area : 3,600ha
Status : Nature Reserve linked to the Réunion National Park
Owner : French government and the department of Réunion
Management authority : Réunion National Park
Biotopes : Rainforests and mountain forests
Uses : Scientific studies, nature activities, visits, tourism, sports and recreational activities

The Roche-Écrite Nature Reserve was created in 1999 to protect the world’s last remaining Réunion Cuckoo shrikes, better known by their Creole name Tuit-tuit. When the National Réunion Park is created in 2007, the site is included in the core zone of the new Park.

The Roche-Ecrite Nature Reserve was created in 1999 to protect the world’s last remaining , better known by their Creole name tuit-tuit. In 2007, the site lost its status as a nature reserve and became part of the new Réunion National Park.

Les Hauts, Réunion National Park, J. Riegel

The site covers 3,600 ha along the coast in the north-eastern part of the island, in the municipalities of Saint-Denis and La Possession, and extends over two broad volcanic plateaus, the Plaine des Chicots and the Plaine d’Affouches, which are separated by the Saint Denis river.

The major advantage of Roche-Écrite is its significant altitude gradient, which offers rich and varied environments, ranging from low altitude rainforest (340m to 600m) to the Tamarins des Hauts forests (1,500m to 1,800m). The ridges created by these land forms are covered by a very peculiar type of bushy vegetation known as avoune.

The Roche-Écrite Nature Reserve constitutes the last remaining distribution range of the Réunion Cuckoo shrike or Tuit-tuit. This species, which is endemic to Réunion (it is not found anywhere else) is currently classified as “Critically endangered”. There are only 25 to 30 nesting pairs left, confined to an area of only 11.8 km². The species could therefore become extinct if significant conservation measures are not taken.

Another globally endangered species, the Réunion Harrier, also called the Papangue, also nests at the Roche-Ecrite site.

Keywords : Réunion, Roche-Ecrite Nature Reserve, Réunion Cuckoo shrike, Réunion Harrier

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