2008 News Archive - Holidays - Mauritius hosts wildlife project

18 04 2007

As if beautiful beaches and sunny blue skies weren't enough reason to visit Mauritius, the island is now the home of a captivating wildlife preserve.

Environmentalists have established the preserve on a small island off the southern coast of Mauritius called Ile Aux Aigrettes and have made it home to some of the island's most endangered native species.

Ashok Khadun, a conservation expert with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, told CNN: "We want to turn the clock back 400 years."

Mauritius used to boast a plethora of unique wildlife, but with the arrival of Europeans, many became extinct.

The cats, rats and goats that arrived in the European's wake spelled the end for the island's broad-billed parrot, scops owl, flying fox and of course the unfortunate Dodo bird.

Up to 10,000 visitors to Ile Aux Aigrettes are expected this year and organisers of the preserve are hoping that it will continue to grow as a tourist attraction.

Mauritius is part of a chain of islands known as the Mascarene Islands.

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