Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

Protecting Mayotte’s heronries

The 8th August, GEPOMAY conducted their first microlight flights of the 2018-19 season in order to find heronry sites and characterize the birds displacements.

Heronry site from microlights flights © Thomas FERRARI/GEPOMAY

Madagascar Pond-heron reproduction.

The Madagascar Pond-heron breeds on Mayotte on trees within mangroves. This species nests in large mixed colonies in the company of Cattle Egrets. On the ground the first breeding pairs are seen at the colony in September and breeding occurs until February.

Monitoring breeding.

As part of the Life BIODIV’OM program, the GEPOMAY monitored the Madagascar Pond-heron’s nesting using aerial photos taken by drones. At the start of and during the breeding season micro-light flights are carried out over the entire mangroves in order to confirm presence at the breeding sites and any eventual colony displacement. The first microlight flight of the 2019-20 season took place on 8th August and showed that there were 3 active colonies at the 5 known sites. At a first glance only Cattle Egrets were installed but it is quite probable that Madagascar Pond-herons will arrive a little latter. Drone flights should start at the end of August in order to monitor the present breeding season.