Seychelles is a unique destination, as unique as they come. Some of the world's rarest species of flora and fauna are only found in Seychelles, making it all the more special. The archipelago is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world and home to a number of endangered plants and birds. Being one of the most favoured holiday destinations in the world does not make it easier for Seychelles. The risk of its biodiversity to come under a number of human induced threats is ever present as any other destination for that matter. But with Seychelles, conservation becomes important because of its fragile ecosystem. Here we are going to take you on a quick tour of Seychelles, to introduce you to some of the most striking features of the archipelago.
Also known as the largest seed in the world, Coco-de-mer or Lodoicea is endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in Seychelles. It used to be widespread once upon a time but over the years got became extinct on other locations in the archipelago, save for these two islands. It is also known as sea coconut. The fruit is used in traditiuonal medicines because of which they get collected faster than they can reproduce. The dense nature of the fruit makes it hard for the water to spread the fallen seeds, thus locking its location to just these two islands.
The jellyfish tree (Medusagyne oppositifolia) is a critically endangered plant species endemic to the island of Mahe in Seychelles. There are only eight surviving trees, something that really takes being rare and unique up a notch. The plant gets its name from the jellyfish-like shape of it's fruit.
Seychelles' Paradise Flycatcher
The Seychelles paradise flycatcher belongs to the genus of paradise flycatcher and is a rare bird, endemic to the island of La Digue. This forest-dwelling bird comes under Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List). Due to the loss of habitat caused by over tourism, now their number lies in the low hundreds.
These little songbirds have barely come out from the threat of extinction. Also known as Seychelles brush warbler, these greenish-brown bird is a rarity. These birds were only 26 in number but now their population is increasing, thanks to conservation efforts. They can be found in Denis, Fregate, Cousine, Aride Islands and Cousin Island.
Not a creature but world's largest raised coral atoll. An atoll is a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed out of coral. The Aldabra atoll is made up of reef limestone and is home to stunning 307 species of plants and animals.
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve in Praslin
A nature park and a Unesco World Heritage Site, Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is home to the island endemic coco de mer. The reserve is also home to the rare and unique Seychelles black parrot.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
The Aldabra giant tortoise is one of the world's largest and call the atoll their home.
Aldabra rail is a subspecies of the white-throated rail. The species is now the only flightless bird of the Indian Ocean. And in case you are wondering why flightless, when they inhabited the Aldabra atoll, there were no predators present. This rendered flying unnecessary and that's how they evolved over the years as flightless birds!