The Mascarene Islands 2017
Everyone has heard of Mauritius. But apart from white sands and blue seas what do we actually know about Mauritius and it's archipeligo? That was indeed the very question I asked myself as we researched the group of islands known as the Mascarene Islands.
Right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 700km east of Madagascar lies the Mascarene Islands, made up of Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues as well as a good smattering of smaller islands. These islands remained uninhabited until their discovery by the Portuguese in the early 16th century.
Being so remote and without human interaction the islands evolved a high proportion of endemic species of flora and fauna. But the human impact on the islands has been catastrophic. So many endemic species have gone extinct including the most famous of the islands' large endemic fauna, the Dodo and the Giant Tortoise. It's no wonder when we learn that only 2% of the Mauritian primary forest remains.
But there are still treasures to wonder at and places to protect.