Ile aux Aigrettes is one of the 49 islets that surround and belong to the island of Mauritius. Located in the historical bay of Mahébourg, at about 800 meters off the south east coast of the mainland, these 26 hectares of coralline limestone partially overlain with sand and soil deposits is what remains of an eroded dune exposed after a drop in the sea level some 30, 000 years ago.
Declared a Nature Reserve in 1965 and under the management of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation since 1987, this offshore islet now serves as an outdoor laboratory for the regeneration and preservation of the endemic species of the fauna and flora of Mauritius and its territories.
Free from human presence for a long period, Ile aux Aigrettes independently developed itself into a natural museum where a remarkable collection of endemic species of the Mauritian fauna and flora evolved and found a home.
In 1987, when the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation obtained the lease for Ile aux Aigrettes, a warden was posted on the island to interrupt the massive poaching of the island’s forest by the locals and soon after, conservation work began on the island.