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Conservation Boot Camp

Bootstrap your career in conservation. Whether you want to to break into conservation or bolster your experience and knowledge, join the world's first Conservation Boot Camp where you can gain a much coveted, unique and exclusive experince working in a world renowned and multiple award winning nature reserve...Read more

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Implementing the SDGs

At Nature Seychelles we are committed to working with government, development partners and donors in implementing relevant actions, in particular, looking at certain goals where we can build on our existing strengths. Read more

Seychelles Wildlife

Natural environment of the Seychelles

Seychelles is a unique environment, which sustains a very special biodiversity. It is special for a number of different reasons. These are the oldest oceanic islands to be found anywhere...

Bird Watching

Seychelles is a paradise for birdwatchers, you can easily see the unique land birds, the important sea bird colonies, and the host of migrants and vagrants. Some sea bird...

Seychelles Black Parrot

Black Parrot or Kato Nwar in Creolee is brown-grey in colour, not truly black. Many bird experts treat it as a local form of a species found in Madagascar and...

Fairy Tern

The Fairy (or white) Tern is a beautiful bird seen on all islands in Seychelles, even islands like Mahe where they are killed by introduced rats, cats and Barn Owls....

Introduced Land Birds

A little over two hundred years ago, there were no humans living permanently in Seychelles. When settlement occurred, people naturally brought with them the animals and plants they needed to...

Native Birds

Although over 190 different species of bird have been seen on or around the central islands of Seychelles (and the number is increasing all the time), many of these are...

Migrant Shore Birds

Shallow seas and estuaries are very rich in invertebrate life. Many birds feed on the worms, crabs and shellfish in these habitats; often, they have long bills for probing sand...

Seychelles Magpie Robin

The most endangered of the endemic birds, Seychelles Magpie Robin or Pi Santez in Creole, came close to extinction in the late twentieth century; in 1970 there were only about...

Seychelles Blue Pigeon

The Seychelles Blue Pigeon or Pizon Olande in Creole, spends much of its life in the canopy of trees and eats the fruits of figs, bwa dir, ylang ylang and...

Seychelles White-eye

The Seychelles White-eye or Zwazo Linet in Creole, is rare and endemic. They may sometimes be seen in gardens and forest over 300m at La Misere, Cascade and a few...

Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher

The Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher or the Vev in Creole is endemic to Seychelles, you cannot find this bird anywhere else on earth. Although it was once widespread on...

Seychelles Sunbird

The tiny sunbird or Kolibri in Creole, is one of the few endemic species that has thrived since humans arrived in the Seychelles.



  • Stopped near extinctions of birds +

    Down-listing of the critically endangered Seychelles warbler from Critically Endangered to Near Threatened. Other Seychelles birds have also been saved including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Fody, and the Seychelles
  • Restored whole island ecosystems +

    We transformed Cousin Island from a coconut plantation to a thriving vibrant and diverse island ecosystem. Success achieved on Cousin was replicated on other islands with similar conservation activities.
  • Championed climate change solutions +

    Nature Seychelles has risen to the climate change challenge in our region in creative ways to adapt to the inevitable changing of times.
  • Education and Awareness +

    We have been at the forefront of environmental education, particularly with schools and Wildlife clubs
  • Sustainable Tourism +

    We manage the award-winning eco-tourism programme on Cousin Island started in 1970
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Snake Eels in Seychelless rivers

I was interviewed by SBC television recently regarding the freshwater eel inhabiting our rivers. I wrote about this eel some years ago in The People and this week I want to talk about another strange eel I found in some rivers recently.

The native freshwater eel whose scientific name is Anguilla bicolor bicolor lives most of its life in streams and rivers. It seeks the open ocean only to reproduce and give birth. At some point in their life cycle the young seek the coast and migrate up the rivers.

However, there is another eel that can be seen in some rivers usually not far from the sea. I first ran across this animal some time ago but recently found quite a lot in a couple of rivers whilst I was doing some field work in an under-developed part of Mahe.

The eel belongs to the group of fish called Snake Eels, so-called  because of the shape of their body. Several species of snake eels are found on the reef environment and some are sometimes mistaken for sea snakes because of their peculiar coloring and snake-like shape.

The species that is found in the rivers can grow up to 100 centimeters and is usually olive brown in color. It is usually referred to by the name of rice paddy eel. This eel is not really a freshwater fish. Rather it is a marine and brackish-water eel that swims up freshwater streams and rivers. There are several species of fish that do this and they are known as anadromous species.

These eels can be commonly seen if one knows where to look for them.  They are active usually at night where they prey on smaller fish. I have observed one take a small fiddler crab (krab semafot). They do not have very sharp teeth and therefore are not a danger to people. I have seen them living in holes in the bottom and in the banks of the rivers.

In the rivers where I found them they seem to prefer sandy, silty areas. In some countries people fish for them and use them as bait. In Asia they have been known to spawn in rice fields. In India they burrow into the sides an of paddy fields, damaging them  by allowing salt water to enter.

There are many animals living in our rivers and not all of them are obvious. Some like the rice paddy eel are not well known in Seychelles because of their habits. Next time you are at a river near the coast go look for these eels. It’s worth the effort.

By Nirmal Jivan Shah, Nature Seychelles' CEO on the People Newspaper, February 16th 2006


Partners & Awards

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Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 4601100

Fax: + 248 4601102