Awake at night - Some of Seychelles' nocturnal animals

What creatures are stirring at night as you sleep? From owls with their exceptional vision to bats with their sophisticated sonar systems, some animals have developed features that make them well-suited to night-time lifestyles. They play a crucial role in their respective ecosystems, as they help nature balance by preying on other animals or consuming plants. Let's look at some of our nocturnal neighbours.

Seychelles Sheath tailed Bat

Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat

This is possibly the rarest bat in the world. The tiny bat underwent a precipitous decline during the twentieth century due to habitat destruction and roost disturbances. It is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. It's no longer commonly seen. But some Mahe residents have reported seeing individuals at dusk near known roosts.

Seychelles Fruit Bat (or flying fox)

Look up at dusk and you'll see this winged mammal flying over the skies. Asleep during the day, they emerge at night to look for food in forested areas feeding on wild fruit and nectar. They can also be seen hanging in fruit trees in inhabited areas feeding on mangoes, guava, and papaya. You've probably been awakened from your night's slumber by their carry-ons. They sometimes drop mango seeds on roofs! They pollinate the plants they visit and disperse the seeds of many tree species. Fun fact: Baby bats are called 'pups'.

Seychelles Scops Owl

Seychelles Scops Owl

You may have been fortunate to hear the scops owl make its famous "syer" call from the mid to high-altitude forests of Mahe. The saw-like call gives it its Creole name, Syer, meaning the sawyer or cutter of wood. It feeds on invertebrates and small spiders. Due to its nocturnal habitat and difficult mountainous terrain, it is rarely seen and highly sought after by avid birdwatchers. It feeds on Insects, spiders, possibly frogs and small lizards. There are about 360 birds left and the scops owl is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Bronze-eyed Gecko

One of the larger gecko species in Seychelles, growing up to 20 cm in length (including the tail), this gecko has an extensive range of coloration depending on the habitat they are found in. But the gold metallic color of their eyes gives this species its name. Mainly active at night, but can also be found during the daytime. They feed on insects, nectar, carrion, as well as seabird eggs.

Wedge tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Fouke)

This all-dark seabird nests underground in burrows and under rocks. At night, they return to nesting colonies on land, making their wailing call as they fly onto land and throughout the night. Predator-free islands such as Cousin are densely covered in shearwater burrows.

Indian Ocean Whip Spider

Whip Spider

Whip spiders, also known as Tailless whip scorpions, may look fierce, but are harmless to humans; they belong to the order Amblypygi and Amblypygids and do not produce poison. They are active at night - during the day they hide under rocks, in dark crevices, and in shearwater burrows. Cousin wardens often search for them on the island's well.

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Since 1998.

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

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe


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Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

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