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

Cousin Island Special Reserve has recorded a phenomenal eight-fold increase in abundance of nesting hawksbill turtles since the early 1970s based on new analysis of data, a scientific paper published in the Endangered Species Research journal has revealed. The increase is directly attributed to the ongoing turtle conservation program on Cousin started in 1972.

"These findings are a validation of the important work carried out on Cousin." Says Nirmal Shah Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles - BirdLife's partner in the Seychelles, which manages the island. "It is long awaited proof that conservation works even for long lived and critically endangered species like marine turtles."

The evidence shows that Cousin Island, an Important Bird Area (IBA) known for saving birds like the Seychelles warbler from the brink of extinction,  is also a sanctuary for other endangered species. "At 29 ha, it is one of the smaller islands within the granitic Seychelles yet one of the most important nesting grounds within this region." The paper says.

Turtle populations are notoriously difficult to census, relying upon long-term monitoring of females at their nesting beaches. This makes the monitoring on Cousin a mean feat.

Turtle monitoring commences each season when wardens observe the first evidence of a turtle emerging onto the beach to lay her nest. This generally occurs around late August, and turtles continue to emerge until late February or early March. Beaches aretagging turtles periodically patrolled. A complete patrol involves a full circuit of each of the 4 beaches on the island and varies in duration from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the number of turtles and tracks encountered. Females emerging on Cousin are individually tagged, and nesting data collected from nesting attempts  observed through tracks  and actual turtle sightings.  

"Survey effort varied over the years for a variety of reasons, but the underlying trends over time are considered robust." The authors say.

Tag returns also show inter-island nesting occurs between Cousin and other islands within the Seychelles.

The archipelago provides key nesting and feeding areas for the hawksbill. Seychelles accounts for breeding populations estimated to be in the thousands and is home to the largest remaining populations of hawksbill within the western Indian Ocean.

Hawskbill turtles have been protected by law since 1994 when a total legal ban on turtle harvest was implemented. But populations had already declined due to widespread harvesting of nesting females during the 30 years prior to that, with the exception of Cousin. Some poaching still occurs and there have been several arrests and legal cases.

A worldwide trade in turtle shells had also significantly depleted this species globally. In 1996 a total international ban on trade in this species was instituted. Problems of by-catch and habitat destruction still remain in some countries. In the same year the World Conservation Union listed hawksbill turtles as 'Critically Endangered'.

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

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