Seychelles Wildlife Overview

The Seychelles are one of those rare destinations that conjour up
a very specific image, regardless of whether a person has visited before or not – the paradise of the old Bounty adverts!
With palm-fringed, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, the Seychelles comprises of about 115 islands scattered across the Western Indian Ocean and located between 4-11° south and 45-56° east of the Equator. The islands of Seychelles are classified into 42 inner granitic islands and 73 outer coralline islands.

Seychelles wildlife
The Seychelles have one of the highest endemism rates of anywhere in the world, with some 30 endemic species of reptiles and amphibians and a dozen birds. The world’s largest population of Giant tortoises live on Aldabra Atoll, and 2 species of sea turtles nest on the islands.

Cousin Island Birds
Cousin Island supports more than 300,000 nesting seabirds, including Lesser frigate birds, Lesser and Brown noddies, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, White and Bridled terns, White-tailed tropicbirds, Audubon’s Shearwaters. Several hundred Great and Lesser Frigatebirds. Cousin also hosts five of the Seychelles’ eleven endemic land-birds including: Seychelles Magpie-robin (Endangered), Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and Seychelles Blue-pigeon.

Seychelles warbler – down to 30 birds
Until 1968 Cousin Island was a coconut plantation which had lost most of its native vegetation. The Seychelles Warbler was almost extinct and fewer than 30 birds remained in the world; being confined mostly to a single mangrove swamp on Cousin Island. A major conservation drive was launched, and the Seychelles warbler now numbers nearly 3000 birds spread across three islands.

Diving
Diving in the Seychelles is split into two main categories: the Inner Islands and the Outer Islands. The Inner Islands consist of the remains of a submerged mountain range and boast some gorgeous marine life. With 43 islands to choose from, divers truly are spoiled for choice. Topographically, these northerly-situated granite reef locales are absolutely stunning, made up of sculptured rocks often covered in soft corals and sponges. As a consequence of the archipelago’s isolation and strict conservation rules, fish life is prolific.

Huge variety of fish including whale shark
Keen fish ‘IDers’ can expect to see butterfly fish, angel fish, soldier fish, squirrel fish and sweepers, as well as invertebrates such as spiny lobster and a plethora of nudibranchs, including the fabled Spanish dancer. Larger fish species inhabiting this inner sanctuary include napoleon wrasse, giant grouper, reef sharks and ribbon-tailed stingrays. The jewel in the Inner Islands crown, however, is the whale shark, which comes in to feed on plankton. These behemoths are most commonly seen in August, and October to January.

Turtles, manta rays and hammerheads
The Outer Islands – to the south of the archipelago – are all coralline or sand cays and mainly uninhabited and offer more off-the-beaten-track style diving. Outer Island diving is perfect for those who want to mix things up from the reef-bimble type of diving more commonly associated with the Inner Islands. The diving is varied and features everything from mini-walls and canyons to wrecks. The walls boast stunning corals, including huge gorgonians, and green turtles can often be spotted making their way to and from their Seychelles nesting grounds. It is also in the Outer Islands that divers stand the best chance of sneaking a peek of a migrating pelagic or two – mantas are often seen gliding in the blue! Frequent shark sightings include grey reef, silver tip, nurse and the occasional hammerhead.

Turtles
Green and Hawksbill turtles both nest on the Seychelles. Green turtles come ashore at night all year round to lay their eggs on the beaches, whereas Hawksbill turtles lay their eggs from August to February, usually during the day. The baby turtles hatch at night after a two month incubation, weighing just 25 grams, and make their way back to the sea, but only 1 in 1000 make it into adulthood.Green and Hawksbill turtles nest on The Seychelles, and the marine life is just spectacular.

Aldabra Archipelago & Giant tortoises
Aldabra Atoll contains tens of thousands of huge Giant tortoises, possibly as many as 100,000. Aldabra is also the second largest coral atoll in the world. The world’s largest land crab, the coconut crab, also lives on Aldabra, and both Hawksbill and Green turtles nest here. There are as many as 12 endemic species or subspecies of bird, including the Aldabra drongo & the Aldabra rail. Large numbers of sea birds throng around the coast and in the mangroves.

World’s longest insect migration
Globe skimmer dragonflies fly from India to the Maldives on prevailing winds, but the insects then disappear from the Maldives, and appear in the Seychelles, an extraordinary 2,000 miles from India, before heading onto Mozambique. From there they head north via Uganda before returning to India.

Accommodation
For inspiration on Seychelles accommodation options, check us out, we can offer everything from a luxurious beachside villa  to a small local lodging  together with island-hopping trips with split accommodation for those looking to discover the Inner and Outer Islands .

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About mymapofseychelles

myMAPofSeychelles.com help clients arrange and book Dream Weddings, Romantic Honeymoons and Memorable Anniversaries in the Seychelles Islands.
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