Isolated for millions of years, the Seychelles has been able to preserve its unique flora and fauna, by preserving the development of virgin forests and their incredible biodiversity. The local vegettion is one of the great riches in the archipelago, a sanctuary for numerous rares species of flora and fauna. The warm and humid climate all year round provides the perfect conditions for the development of luxurious vegetation where green is the dominant colour. More than 70 endemic species have been identified (pitcher plant, orchids, wild vanilla, and coco de mer). The plants and tropical flowers make the Seychelles vibrant with colours (frangipane, bougainvilleas, flamboyant, hibiscus, orchids), and tropical fruits grow abundantly (mangoes, pineapple, star fruit, papaya, passion
fruit, bananas,jamalac, soursop, lemon...).
The animals in Seychelles are of no danger to humans, and there are multiple reptiles populating the islands. The giant tortoises are mostly found in the Seychelles and Galapagos. They are protected and the most important colony is on the Aldabra atoll. Mammals are rarer however. The large fruit bats are prized for their tasty meat, and a delicacy for many Seychellois.
In the Seychelles there are more than 7 millionbirds belonging to more than 200 species. The Seychelles is also a stopping point for migrating birds (sternes, goelands, fous...). They take over Bird, Cousin, Frigate, or even Aride Island when it’s their time to migrate. Herons and egrets can also be seen for part of the year. It’s often possible to discover all kinds of birds, some that are familiar in Europe as well as other more exotic species (Colibri, Indian mynah, bulbul) and also even endemic ones: Veuve of the Seychelles (Paradise Flycatcher), Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Fody (Tok toK in creole) and the Black Parrot (Kato Nwar in creole). Nowadays, Aldabra is home to the last bird of the Indian Ocean that is incapable of flying, it is known as “Aldabran Rail “.
The marine life is very dense and varied and more than 800 species have been identified: groupers, barracudas, tuna, marlin, kingfish, saifish, dolphins, eels, turtles, rays, reef sharks etc... The exceptional underwater marine life adds to the number of unique sites to visit in the Seychelles. A guaranteed, unforgettable diving experience! By protecting the sea turtles over the years, they have kept laying their eggs on the beaches of Seychelles. The 4 endemic species in Seychelles are unfortunately becoming rarer (Green turtles, Hawksbill turtle (torti kare in creole), Leatherback (torti carambol) and «torti batar». In the early 80’s, a program for the reproduction of turtles was established on Cousin Island, the subsequent legislation has guaranteed their protection.
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The protection of the environment is a priority for the Seychelles authorities, and 43% of the land is therefore classed as protected. Four national marine parks protect more than 150 species of fish (Ste Anne, Port Launay/Baie Ternay, Coco Island and Curieuse).
In addition, the islands of Cousin and Bird have become bird sanctuaries. The Seychelles comprises 2 sites classed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites : the Vallee de Mai on the island of Praslin and the Aldabra atoll which is the largest coralline atoll on earth.