THE BIRDS OF RODRIGUEZ, INDIAN OCEAN

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Summary

The present paper reviews several little-known 18th century accounts of the sea-bird fauna of Rodriguez, Indian Ocean. After a brief description of the history of the islands, early information on the sea-bird colonies is summarized together with a reasoned interpretation of the species involved. Several species no longer known to breed bred in the 18th century. Subfossil petrel bones also indicate the existence of several species now absent, including the Mascarene Petrel Pterodroma aterrima. These are described and figured. The scant evidence on sea-bird breeding seasons suggests the existence of some out-of-season and staggered breeding. Finally, a few recent records of land-birds are listed with some comment on the oriental origin and affinities of the species, and the need for measures to conserve the existing avifauna is stressed.

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