Weaver news

First PHOWN records from Mauritius

2014-04-20 (506)

phown 9519

Pieter Cronje has submitted the first PHOWN records from Mauritius, involving 3 weaver species: Village Weaver, Madagascar Fody and Mauritius Fody. The Mauritius Fody record is the first PHOWN record for the species, but was not easy to find. Pieter writes: "After more than 200 kilometers in a car and after 5 hours with two unenthusiastic police officers I managed to get my first Mauritius Fody nest in the Black River gorge Nature reserve. Although I saw a few other Fodies I did not have the time to stalk them and find their nests". The Mauritius Fody is endemic to Mauritius and is a globally threatened species. The Mauritius Fody breeds from October to February, so Pieter's visit was not during its breeding season but he did find a nest attended by adults (PHOWN 9522).

The Village Weaver and Madagascar Fody are both introduced to Mauritius, and Pieter found many colonies and nests for these 2 species. Average colony size for the Village Weaver on Mauritius was 19.5 nests (range 1-120, n=101), which is lower than the average on mainland Africa at 36 nests (range 1-500, n=892). A variety of tree species were used as nest sites, including palm trees, as well as 3 colonies in bamboos.

See all the PHOWN records from Mauritius here.