Non-intrusive systematic study reveals mutualistic interactions between threatened island endemic species and points to more impactful conservation

  • Prishnee Bissessur, Yogishah Bunsy, Cláudia Baider, François Benjamin Vincent Florens
  • Journal for Nature Conservation, June 2019, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jnc.2019.04.002

Mutualistic interactions between threatened island endemic species

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

What is it about?

Our study revealed a hitherto unknown flower visitor, a threatened endemic bird, which is a better pollinator and indicating that conservation of the bird, including re-introduction where it has gone locally extinct, would be a more impactful conservation measure for both the plant and bird mutualist. Invasive alien vertebrates such as the black rats (Rattus rattus) and long tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) have also been revealed and they pose a major threat to the plant's sexual reproduction as they destroy a substantial proportion of flowers and thereby increase the food scarcity of the nectar feeding birds.

Why is it important?

Our results were achieved mainly by a relatively simple and widely affordable approach of non-intrusive systematic study using camera trapping and may serve as a good example to conservationists working on oceanic islands, where thousands of species are threatened, of how such a simple approach may be of paramount importance for guiding effective conservation management.


Ms. Prishnee Bissessur
University of Mauritius

This work was really interesting and exciting in terms of discovering new flower visitors, previously unknown and capture them on camera. This shows how simple methods can actually reveal a lot about the ecology of even relatively well studied species.

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The following have contributed to this page: Ms. Prishnee Bissessur

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