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What's On at Nature Seychelles

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.

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Achievements

  • 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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Hawksbill Turtle Monitoring and Research

The largest hawksbill turtle (Erechmotelys imbricata) population remaining in the Western Indian Ocean occurs in Seychelles.  However, populations have declined due to widespread harvesting of nesting females during the 30 years prior to 1994, when a total legal ban on turtle harvest was implemented.  An exception to the downward trend is the population at Cousin Island Special Reserve, managed by Nature Seychelles.

Turtle monitoring has been in operation on Cousin since 1972. Turtle monitoring forms a core part of the  Cousin  work programs during the nesting season. Records of dates and locations are kept as nesting beaches are patrolled several times a day during daylight.

Tagging has been carried out since 1973.  Wardens on Cousin apply metal tags bearing a unique identification code to the trailing edge of both front flippers of each nesting turtle encountered during beach patrols. This long-running activity has allowed Cousin to identify individual females as they return to the beaches to nest season after season.

Programme News

Conservation success: Eight-fold increase of turtle nesting on Cousin Island

The one in a thousand

Woman jailed for turtle shell smuggling

Woman Convicted for turtle meat possession

Small Grants Programme supports Turtles

 

Attachments:
Download this file (HawksbillTurtleCousin2010.pdf)Hawksbill turtle monitoring in Cousin Island Special Reserve, Seychelles: an eig[Hawksbill turtle monitoring in Cousin Island Special Reserve, Seychelles: an eight-fold increase in annual nesting numbers]240 kB

Ecosystem management and rehabilitation


We are a leader in environmental restoration, particularly of island ecosystems. We have carried out restoration or rehabilitation on a number of islands. This typically involves several stages:

  1. The removal of alien predators such as rats
  2. The control or removal of alien plants and reforestation through replacement with native species
  3. The reintroduction of native animals

A good example is  major island restoration programme initiated in 1999  and financed by the GEF, the Seychelles government and island owners. A collaborative effort, it involved Nature Seychelles, international partners such as BirdLife International, private island owners and the Seychelles Government. Through this programme biological assessment of islands, cost analysis of restoration and maintenance, education and awareness, island management plans, removal of alien predators and other invasive alien species, establishment or rehabilitation of native coastal habitats, translocation of globally threatened endemic species and socio-economic valuation of restored ecosystems and ecotourism were undertaken. Islands in the programme included Frégate, Cousine, North and Denis Islands.

Nature Seychelles has published biological assessments of many Seychelles islands as well as a manual of assessment methods. The organisation has also published several papers on the subject including methods of eradicating Mynah birds.

Protected Area Management

 

We manage Cousin Island Special Reserve a marine protected area (MPA) that includes a 400m exclusion zone from the shore. Previously a coconut plantation, Cousin Island was purchased by the International Council for Bird Protection (now BirdLife) in 1968, for the immediate purpose of saving the endemic Seychelles Warbler. To save the warbler, a habitat restoration programme was implemented. The transformation of the island from an ecologically impoverished coconut plantation into a thriving indigenous forest also benefitted other species including the Seychelles Magpie Robin.

Since 1998, Cousin is successfully run and protected by a Seychellois team. It is a huge conservation success today and is home to a varied flora and fauna that includes seven species of nesting seabirds, in numbers exceeding 300,000 individuals. Five of Seychelles' eleven endemic land birds - Seychelles magpie robin, Seychelles sunbird, Seychelles fody, Seychelles blue pigeon and the Seychelles warbler - are found on Cousin. The island is recognized as one of the most important breeding sites in the Western Indian Ocean for Hawksbill turtles, and the monitoring programme for this species was put in place in 1972. Since then an eight-fold increase in nesting turtles has been recorded. It is today one of the few islands free of introduced predators like cats and rats due to a strict invasives control programme.

Research has showed that the Reserve’s reefs are well protected resulting in a diverse and abundant marine fauna, especially of fish targeted by fishers. The management maintains a unique relationship with the local community that forestalls poaching and has led to an increased understanding of the role of MPAs in local fisheries. A project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) looked at the role of the Cousin MPA in fish protection.

Cousin is designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and is a  Demonstration Site for the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN). It is classified as  a Wetland under Ramsar criteria.

The management of Cousin  involves local people in protected area planning and also in sustainable use activities including eco-tourism activities that finance the running of the island and implementation of other projects. Initiation of eco tourism in 1972 has grown to become an exciting program run under internationally accepted principles. It has won numerous awards and accolades including the Conde Nast Ecotourism Award, and the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow.  In 2005, a management effectiveness study by UNEP and IUCN found the Reserve to be well managed and effective. In 2006, the IUCN Turtle Specialist Group highlighted the success of Cousin’s turtle conservation program which started in 1972.

See more on the Cousin Island Special Reserve website.

The Heritage Garden at Roche Caiman

 

The Heritage Garden Project® is an award-winning project started by Nature Seychelles in collaboration with the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles, the Department of Natural Resources and Ministry of Education to introduce young people to traditional food and medicinal plants (Shah, 2011). Heritage Gardens were established in 12 schools by the Wildlife Clubs. The aims are, among others, to promote awareness, interest and knowledge on the nurturing and propagation of traditional plants, thereby passing on a rich biological and cultural heritage and to connect several generations of Seychellois to become custodians of biodiversity.

The project has also inspired other organizations to establish such gardens, as well as a similar project by a farmers association in 2012.

The Heritage Garden at Roche Caiman™ is the demonstration site for the project and is now part of Nature Seychelles wider Green Health programme, which promotes sustainable living, including organic gardening and Edible Landscaping. 

It is a place to inspire. The garden has hosted various organizations, businesses, government, foreign delegations, and people from all segments of society. Our staff guide students and visitors to explore the plants. They also help students and visitors engage in hands-on activities as they walk through the garden and discover different plants.

See more:

2nd Edition of Grow and Eat your own Food receives funding

UNISEY students check out Nature Seychelles

Minister lauds Nature Seychelles Heritage Garden

Traditional medicine practitioners visit the Heritage Garden

Biodiversity Day 2012: Nature Seychelles promotes Bio Happiness

Greening livelihoods project launched, agreement with partners signed

World Environment Day - Nature Seychelles celebrates achievements and reflects on new directions

Promoting sustainable living

Support is Needed for Propagating Heritage Gardens

Native medicine...the desire of ages

Partners & Awards

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Our History

Since 1998.

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

@CousinIsland Manager

Facebook: http://goo.gl/Q9lXM

Roche Caiman, Mahe

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 4601100

Fax: + 248 4601102

Email: nature@seychelles.net