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Range DescriptionThis species breeds colonially in caves and lava tunnels in Runion (to France) and Mauritius (Cheke 1987c). In the 1970s, the species was much less common on Runion than Mauritius (Cheke 1987b). More recently, discoveries on Runion of several large colonies indicate that the population has since increased substantially to over 10,000 mature individuals (V. Bretagnolle in litt. 1999; M. Le Corre in litt. 1999 A. Cheke pers comm. 2000), including a small number of sites with more than 1,500 birds (Barr et al. 1996; A. Cheke pers comm. 2000; Le Corre and Safford 2001). On Mauritius, numbers have declined markedly in the last century, continuing through the last 20 years, with surveys in the 1990s indicating habitation of 34 caves, but complete removal of birds from a further 19. The population was estimated to be a minimum of 2,244-2,610 birds (G. Middleton per C. Jones in litt. 2000).