Eco Travel

Mauritius wildlife

Mauritius wildlife is a nature-lover’s dream.

You can book a birdwatching hike with a biologist and explore Pétrin and Black River Gorges National Park or take a boat trip to the northern islands to see the incredible seabirds. Learn about Gerald Durrell’s work to help conserve rare species in Mauritius, such as the Mauritius Kestrel and Pink Pigeon; and keep your eyes on the ocean as you search for dolphins and whales rising from the water.


Pink pigeon

This rare blush-coloured pigeon can only be found on Mauritius, making the island a must for enthusiastic birders. ‘Pigeon des Mares’, as they’re known in French, enjoy a plant-based diet of leaves, fruits, flowers and stems of native and exotic plant species and they tend to form long-term pairings. However, there are only around 450 of these pink-bellied, brown-winged creatures on the island, so don’t forget your binoculars! During your stay on the island, learn about Gerald Durrell’s work to help conserve the Pink pigeon.


Aldabra tortoises

These gentle non-native giants were introduced to Mauritius in the 1990s as part of a conservation project. Reaching around 120cm in length and weighing up to a whopping 250kg, Aldabra tortoises can live for more than 100 years! If you want to get up close to them, visit The Giant Tortoises Park on the island of Rodrigues ‒ a 20-hectare nature reserve with more than 110,000 endemic and native plants, as well as these friendly, slow-paced reptiles.


Ornate day gecko

The ornate day gecko’s hobbies include leaping around in search of insects, eating overripe fruit, lapping up nectar from tree blossoms and finding smooth leaves to sunbathe on. These cute little critters can only be found in Mauritius – they’re pretty shy, speedy and around 12cm long, so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled if you hope to spot one during your stay on our island.


Mauritius kestrel

Once the world’s rarest bird, now the National Bird of the Republic of Mauritius, the Mauritius kestrel is a conservation success story. Durrell worked closely with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, the Government of Mauritius and other partners to conserve the Mauritius kestrel and you can find out more about the Island Restoration Programme by Durrell. Easily identifiable due to its white chest with dark markings, brown head and neck and wing markings, the kestrel is the only bird of prey that remains in Mauritius. You’ll spot them in the Black River Gorges National Park, the surrounding areas and the Bambou Mountains, including Ferney Valley.


Echo parakeet

A long-tailed, bright green (though darker in colour than the similar Indian ring-necked parakeet) bird, there are more than 800 echo parakeets in Mauritius ‒ numbers that have been aided by a successful parrot recovery programme. Head to the Black River Gorges National Park, Ebony Forest or the Bambou Mountains to catch a glimpse of their iconic green feathers.


Mauritius olive white eye

Found in the upland forest of the Black River Gorges National Park and Ile aux Aigrettes, you can easily recognise this small (they’re just 10cm in length!), olive-green songbird due to the distinctive white circle around their eyes and the curved shape of their bills ‒ perfectly designed for eating nectar from native plants.



Sperm whales and pilot whales live year-round in the waters surrounding Mauritius and Humpback Whales pass by during their winter migration from June to September. Sperm whales can grow to a whopping 20 metres long and these gentle giants can be spotted in the ocean around our island from February to November.



Dolphin pods can regularly be spotted off the west coast of Mauritius. The west coast is their favourite playground and you can see both bottlenose and spinner dolphins here, often travelling in pods of 20 dolphins. Sometimes we are lucky enough to spot over 100 sliding through the water to the deeper ocean off Le Morne peninsula!


Mauritius Fody

If you go down to the woods today, you might just spot the Mauritius fody. With its bright red plumage, the male of this endemic species is striking, while the female is a soft olive-brown colour. Once critically endangered, these lovely forest-dwelling songbirds have been reclassified as endangered as a result of a recovery program that was initiated by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation in conjunction with the National Parks and Conservation Service, Chester Zoo and the Durrell Wildlife & Conservation Trust.


Mauritius Paradise Flycatcher

One of Mauritius’ many beautiful birds, the paradise flycatcher is endemic to the island. Weighing in at just 12 grams, they boast blue heads (dark blue for the males and a lighter blue for the females), with a light blue ring around their eyes, a light grey breast and reddish-brown tail and wings. Look out for these tiny guys in the Black River National Parks, Bras d’Eau and Ebony Forest.


Mauritius fruit bat

Visit Mauritius and you’re bound to see a fruit bat spreading its wings and flying overhead. Sometimes referred to as a flying fox, you’ll spot these creatures swooping from tree to tree, feasting on succulent fruits and sweet nectar. There are more than 50,000 of these mammals on the mainland, with their status shifting from endangered to vulnerable in 2014.


Rodrigues Warbler

Found feeding on insects and bugs, the Rodrigues warbler is a medium-sized, yellowish-olive bird that is resident and endemic to Rodrigues. Although their conservation status is ‘near threatened’, the good news is that their population has been increasing! Largely thanks to habitat restoration work, there are now around 25,000 of these little guys flying around the island ‒ up from just 4,000 in 2010.


Skinks (different types)

There are five different types of skinks (lizard-like creatures) to be found in Mauritius and it takes a little bit of knowledge to spot the difference between them! Here’s a quick rundown:

The snake-eyed skink is small, slender and typically grey or brown with grey or black speckles
The slit-eared skink is golden-brown to greyish brown with dark brown stripes along its back
The macchabé skink is chocolate-brown with a few small dark brown to black speckles along its back
The orange-tail skink (as you might expect) has a dark brown head and back but with a deep orange tinge
The telfair’s skink is light greyish-brown to light brown and bronze with a bluish-green sheen


Round Island Petrel

As the name suggests, you can see these seabirds on Round Island ‒ a small volcanic island situated off the north coast of Mauritius. Up to 39cm in size, with a 88-102cm wingspan, the petrel has various colour morphs (meaning their plumage varies in shade). Book yourself on a Northern Islets seabirds tour on a deep-sea fishing boat for a chance to see them.


Wedge-tailed Shearwater

The largest of the tropical shearwaters, the wedge-tailed shearwater can usually be seen in feeding flocks with other seabirds. Much like the Round Island petrel, you can see them on a Northern Islets tour and their plumage can vary ‒ most birds are grey-brown above with a whiter plumage underneath while others are dark brown all over; but all have a large, wedge-shaped tail, for which they are named after. These birds mostly eat fish and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see them dive into the water in search of their supper!


Red and White-tailed Tropicbirds

The red-tailed tropicbird is a medium-sized, white seabird with a red beak and a fantastic, long, red tail. They’re larger and heavier than their counterpart, the white-tailed tropicbird, which has black marks on the wings, a yellow beak and (as you might have deduced!) a long white tail. Although their appearances may slightly differ, you’re bound to hear them if you’re near as both boast loud squawks!


Sooty terns

Some of the most distinctive seabirds around, sooty terns have a distinctive look: all-black above, all-white below, with a white forehead and a black eyestripe. You’ll know if you’re near a colony of these birds due to their call ‒ a raucous cacophony!


Common noddies

The common noddy (sometimes referred to as the brown noddy and often confused with the lesser noddy) is dark with a white cap, with very little differentiation in plumage between males and females. You’ll find these large seabirds spending their days nesting in colonies and diving for fish and squid. In Mauritius, the common noddy breeds only on Serpent Island. And if you were wondering about the ‘nod’ in ‘noddy’ ‒ as part of the mating ritual, these birds nod at each other!


Lesser noddies

Fast, graceful and often found offshore, the lesser noddy is a slender bird with a grey-black appearance. Easily confused with the common noddy, the lesser has a very thin bill, with grey between the bill and eyes.


Masked Boobies

With their snowy white plumage, black flight feathers and a blackish “mask” of skin near the bill, these birds are some of the most striking around. Also known as a ‘masked gannett’, like many of Mauritius’ seabirds, these large birds nest in colonies and make spectacular plunges for their dinners of fish and squid.


Listen to the sounds of Mauritius

Mauritius Playlist