Each year, the
General Council of La Reunion organizes some guided day-hikes all over the
island. The Piton Mont-Vert (French for Green-Mount Peak)
isn’t well known among the public but is part of those small wonders on the
island where a very wide variety of fauna and flora can be observed in its
characterized semi-dry forest. It’s located very near Saint-Pierre at an
altitude of 500 meters and offers a magnificent observatory on the south west
coast and the Indian Ocean. It’s an ancient
volcano and viewed from the sky it looks like a crescent moon. Like the rest of
the island it has been partially colonized by some exotic pest plants and some mechanical,
manual and biological campaigns are underway to get rid of the most invasive.
It’s the case for the “vigne maronne” (French for maroon vine) a thorny plant introduced on the island in the 1840s.
Starting at the end of 2006, a biological fight was lunched and “Blue Flies”
were released on some parts of the island, including the Piton Mont-Vert, to
eliminate that species. The fly lays its eggs on the plant and as soon as the
larvae hatch, they start to eat up the plant. This phenomenon can be observed
here and the result appears to be positive so far. The ultimate goal is to have
these exotic pest plants be replaced by indigenous and endemic flora.