Fauna of Reunion Island.
The " paille-en-queue".
This bird lives at La Réunion and in the whole Indian Ocean. It is protected because the female only lays one egg a year. It builds its nest in the cliffs of the island . It eats almost only fishes. It catches these fishes diving from very high. Most of time, sword-fishes live close to the places where the paille-en-queue fishes. That's the reason why Reunion fishers love this bird.
The breeding of turtles in La Réunion had begun in 1977. Some people saw that thousand of turtles were born on the Tromelin and Europa islands. So, the "Corail" company decided to breed turtles in La Réunion. Turtles are taken at their birth: their weight is about 25g. Then they are transported to La Réunion by plane where they are bred during 3 years. Their weight goes from 3.5kg when their are one year old to 17kg at 2 and to 40kg after 3 years. The "Corail" farm produces 30 000 turtles a year. The water must be renewed with a flow of 30 000 cubic meters per hour and must be maintained at a constant temperature of 26 grades. The turtel scales are transformed into various things, among them many jewels. The turtle soap is made with the cartilage. The skin of the turtles is used for leather making and their oil for cosmetics
Only a few specimens of these reptiles remain in the island. Its colors and the drawing of its skin change, depending on the place it is. It can go from green to high red. It commonly lives close to ponds and rivers. It eats insects. To hunt it quarry, it takes the color of the branch on which it is, and catches the insects thanks to his large tongue (12 to 15 cm long). It is a useful animal and do not represent any danger for human beings. In Réunion Isalnd, it is called "the sleeper".
Fauna of the rivers.
Trouts are present in many rivers of La Réunion. They were introduced there in 1940 from Madagascar. These fishes are particularly present in "la rivière des Marsouins", "le Bras Sainte Suzanne", " Grand-Bois" and in the rivers of Salazie and Mafate mountain cirques.. There are many other species such as "Chittes" or "Monbruns" also called "Cerrés". Some eels can weigh up to 20kg. They live in pools and particularly in the ponds of Saint-Paul and Saint-Benoît. There are also many shrimps of soft water, that are very often used for cooking.
There are some trouts breeding in the island. The largest are in Hell-Bourg and Langevin.
The aquatic fauna present in the Reunion waters is exotic and varies in colors and forms.
Some 15 families are represented: butterfly-fishes, parrot-fishes...
Most of the fishes are eatible: "carangues", "vivaneaux", "rouges", "thons-banane"...
"Bichiques" are very appreciated by gastronomes. These are little fishes that are born in the sea and come after to the rivers where they are fished with nets.
People who love shellfishes will be very happy two, as some 12 families are present in the Réuion waters: "sea ears", "cardinal", "porcelaine"...
There are many birds in La Réunion.Here are the names of the most beautiful specimens: le merle blanc, l'oiseau de la Vierge (The Virgin's bird), le tec-tec, le cardinal, l'oiseau vert (the green bird), la papangue, le martin, l'oiseau bélier, le coutil, le serin, la poule d'eau, le bengali, le bec-rose, la caille de chine, la perdrix, le coq de bruyère, la tourterelle malgache. Le puffin noir, le puffin Herminier, le pétrel noir, le pétrel taillevent. The macois and the famous paille-en-queue, are sea-birds.
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