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  • SNA: Maritime security expected to increase in Seychelles’ waters through agreement with US

    (Seychelles News Agency) - The National Assembly has approved the ratification of a bilateral agreement with the United States which supporters say will help increase surveillance capabilities in Seychelles' waters. Twenty-nine members voted this week to ratify the agreement on countering illicit transnational maritime activity, which was brought for a[…]

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  • Eight Chinese fishing vessels grounded in Port Victoria

    (Seychelles Nation 20.5.21): Eight Chinese fishing vessels have been grounded at Port Victoria after they illegally anchored themselves in our territorial waters on Friday last week. Last Friday authorities found out there were several ships who weren’t identifiable anchored near Providence island. Upon learning of this President Wavel Ramkalawan ordered the coast[…]

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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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Sick Birds put World at Risk

The world may be on the verge of a pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all countries undertake urgent actions to prepare for a new, global, influenza pandemic. I wrote about this earlier in this newspaper but the poultry flu strain known as H5N1 continues to move across the world. Wild birds are frequently blamed which is why I am interested.

The H5N1 virus is spreading, with recent outbreaks in China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and several regions of Russia, additional to the spread through SE Asia since the end of 2003. It is not yet clear how the disease is spreading. Movement of domestic birds seems to have a significant role, but migrating waterbirds may also be involved.

The Seychelles are not on the major migratory routes or flyways of birds. Except for some seabirds there are no large movements of bird flocks. But there are indeed some water birds that visit our shores.   WHO and FAO have stated that control of the disease in wild bird populations is not feasible and should not be attempted. Wild waterfowl have been known for some time to be the natural reservoir of influenza A viruses. But, the role of these birds in the spread of avian influenza remains very poorly understood.

Several Seychellois have called me recently, worried about possible infections from wild birds. BirdLife International says there are no records of transmission of the disease between infected wild birds and humans. The H5N1 strain is not currently contagious between humans and most human cases have been associated with close contact with infected domestic poultry. The risk of a human contracting the disease from a wild bird is remote.

The most efficient control techniques involves reducing contact between domestic stock and wild birds or infected water sources. This needs to be tied in with quick culls of infected poultry stocks in the event of an outbreak. The ban on imports of domestic poultry and untreated bird products such as fresh meat from affected regions is very sensible. The country has had bans on imports of wild birds for the pet trade for a long time. Cautioning Seychellois and others against access to infected sites is also a good precaution.

Should the H5N1 mutate into a form that is transmissible in humans, it has the potential to kill many more people. Equally, incorrect information about, or irrational actions against, wild birds could result in the destruction of large numbers of birds ending in long term loss of biodiversity and a wider dispersal of birds and thus potentially the disease.  BirdLife urges a cautious and scientific approach to dealing with this threat.


By Nirmal Jivan Shah, published on the People Newspaper, 8th September 2005


Partners & Awards

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Our History

Since 1998.

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

@CousinIsland Manager

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Roche Caiman, Mahe

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Centre for Environment & Education

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P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 4601100

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Email: nature@seychelles.net