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 on Earth. The inner granitic islands here are also the only such islands based on continental rock.
|Mountainous view on Mahe Island, Seychelles © Gideon Climo
Seychelles became detached from other land masses at a time before modern mammals had evolved. There are no land mammals occurring here naturally, which has allowed particular kinds of biodiversity to develop. The mammals brought by human settlers, particularly rats, mice, cats and tenrecs, have been disruptive to the vulnerable species here, and have presented major challenges to conservation.
The islands are home to many species that are found nowhere else – we call these endemic species.
A unique flora of about 80 endemic species, and fauna, with invertebrates alone contributing over 2,000 endemic species, has evolved here. There are 40 granite islands and another 115 islands are based on coral and sand.
The Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles covers about 1.2 million square kilometres, the vast majority of which is open ocean. Marine life, from inshore coral reefs to deep water, includes more than 1,000 species of fish. The health of the ocean is fundamental to the Seychelles economy and to the people of the islands, through fisheries and tourism. Environmental and economic sustainability are closely linked, and this is perhaps even more apparent in Seychelles than elsewhere.
Seychelles has earned its reputation as a relatively unspoiled haven for people and wildlife, but it remains under pressure in a variety of forms, including climate change, insensitive development, over-exploitation of resources, and invasive alien species. These species can range from insects to plants, mammals, birds, marine organisms and disease-causing agents.
Seychelles’ conservation success stories have been an example to the world, and small island restoration efforts have been well rewarded, with the recovery of habitats and some of the most endangered species that depend on them But there is still much to do. Nature Seychelles is taking action on many fronts, working with supporters and partners, and has been responsible for several important conservation successes.
These successes include enabling the Seychelles Magpie-robin and the Seychelles Scops Owl to be removed from the highest threat category of the World Conservation Union’s Red List, international accolades for Cousin Island Special Reserve, production of exciting educational and awareness materials, books and posters, successful partnerships with the private sector, and training and employment of local people. You can learn more about our work through this website.