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Population density of the Réunion Grey White-eye <i>Zosterops borbonicus</i> within the summit ecosystems of Réunion, Mascarene Islands

Joris A.M. Bertrand
Yann X.C. Bourgeois
Christophe Thébaud


Assessing population density is crucial for studying the ecology and evolutionary biology of species as well as for conservation purposes. Here we used point count methods to infer population density in a single-island endemic passerine bird, the Réunion Grey White-eye Zosterops borbonicus, that displays striking evidence of differentiation at a small spatial scale. Population density was estimated at 5.17 birds ha−1 (CL 4.85–5.50), a value somewhat higher than previously believed. This estimation provides the first detailed estimation of bird population density in the vulnerable summit ecosystems of Réunion and will possibly allow a better understanding of the evolutionary causes of this plumage colour variation.

Keywords: distance sampling, Indian Ocean, island endemism, Mascarene Islands, point census, point count

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525