2018 was an incredible year in terms of bad news on the media. Confusing news, fake news, alternative facts, pseudo-science, and just terrible public portrayal of leaders. But, pull away from the media circus and do a deep dive onto the real world and one can see that 2018 was in fact a year of hope.
A Seychelles fruit bat (Pteropus seychellensis) flying into or trying to perch on power lines at Sans Souci, in the hills of Mahe Island was the cause of a power outage that occurred in the South of Mahe at 9.30pm on Monday 25, according to a news report in the TODAY in Seychelles newspaper. It took the Public Utilities Company (PUC) nearly four hours to restore electricity to the affected areas stretching from the districts of Roche Caiman to Grande Anse.
The combined efforts of conservation and scientific research took this songbird from near extinction on 1 island to thriving on 5 islands. "The Seychelles warbler is definitely the most amazing success story in the history of Seychelles," says Dr. Nirmal Shah of Nature Seychelles.
14 members of the Africa Council of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) braved soaking wet conditions to visit Cousin Island Special Reserve on the 1st of February 2018. Rain and cloud cover, typical of this time of the year, persisted throughout the morning of the visit. The conditions did not, however, dampen the spirits of both visitors and Nature Seychelles' staff on hand to receive them. Neither did it scuttle the unique island tour that Cousin is known for.
Nature Seychelles, which manages the award-winning Cousin Island Special Reserve has announced an increase in the tourism user fee to the Reserve as of June 2019 so as to try and reduce visitor numbers. Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah the Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles explains, “Cousin Island Special Reserve experienced over-tourism in 2018. The Special Reserve received a record number of visitors last year, 27% more than the average of the last 10 years. Analysis of visitor statistics and of our management and conservation reports, shows that the coping ability of our management team and the biophysical carrying capacity of the Special Reserve are being overshot. The visitor experience is, in addition, being compromised.”