Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Diet composition of the invasive red-whiskered bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus in Mauritius.

Abstract

The red-whiskered bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus was introduced to Mauritius in the late 1800s and is now considered to be one of the most invasive species on the island. The diet of the bird was studied in forests at Brise Fer and Bel Ombre, in SW Mauritius, focusing on the role of the bulbul in seed dispersal of introduced and invasive plant species in native forest remnants. Data collected outside the bulbul breeding season showed that the diet consisted mainly of fleshy fruits. Eight of the ten plant species identified in the faeces were introduced, six of which (Clidemia hirta, Ligustrum robustum, Litsea glutinosa, Psidium cattleianum, Rubus alceifolius and R. rosifolius) are highly invasive in Mauritius and occurred in 53% of samples. One of the forest sites had been manually weeded, and it is suggested that the bulbul may play a key role in continued reinvasion of cleared areas.