The main conservation priorities for the new centre will be invasive species eradication, the reintroduction of native species, and carrying out crucial research including undertaking habitat assessments and determining population sizes of endangered species such as Sharks and doing complete bird censuses.
Blue Safari Seychelles announce the Island Conservation Society (ICS), a local NGO and their conservation partners on all projects, has opened a brand-new conservation centre on Astove Island. This centre will cover conservation priorities on both Astove and Cosmoledo Atolls, located over 1,000 km southwest of the main island of Mahé and part of the Aldabra Group of Islands. This group of islands has an exceptionally high biodiversity value and is home to rare, endangered, or endemic species like the Menai White-eye, the last nesting colony of Brown Boobies in the Seychelles, and giant tortoises. With historically low levels of human development and limited fishing pressures, The Aldabra Group has one of the least impacted coral reefs in the region; a major conservation priority for ICS will be to understand more about the marine environment and the best way to protect it effectively.
The main conservation priorities for the new centre will be invasive species eradication, the reintroduction of native species, and carrying out crucial research including undertaking habitat assessments and determining population sizes of endangered species such as Sharks and doing complete bird censuses. Invasive species, in particular non-native mammals such as rats, cats, and goats have a huge impact on bird, invertebrate, and vegetation diversity and small, isolated islands are the most vulnerable. The result of these long-term eradication plans will help increase habitat sites for seabirds thus encouraging the successful reintroduction of several species. Alongside this incredible work, the ICS will also undertake an annual sooty tern census on Cosmoledo Atoll, in addition to estimating the nesting success of other seabirds that breed on the atoll in huge numbers such as Red Footed and Masked Boobies.
Astove Atoll is home to ‘The Wall’ a sheer drop, made famous by Jacques Cousteau as it featured in his 1956 film, ‘The Silent World’. A diver’s paradise and a true biodiversity hotspot, Astove Atoll is untouched and is surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with diverse and colourful marine life such as Indo-Pacific Permits, Barracudas, Bluefin Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, various Shark species, Green and Hawksbill turtles, and an abundance of schooling fish.
The opening of this new centre indicates the start of a long journey in encouraging and amplifying land and marine conservation in the Outer Islands of Seychelles. The success and discoveries the ICS will uncover about this stunning region will have global benefits as well as help to secure the future of Seychelles.
Astove Atoll was “discovered” between 1000 and 1500 AD but was not inhabited until 1760 when a Portuguese ship ran aground. After 250 years of inhabitation, the atoll was abandoned, and nature was left to take over and thrive. In 2014, Astove Atoll was declared a nature reserve thus securing its protection for decades to come. With the “underwater Grand Canyon” Astove Wall, waters teeming with rich marine biodiversity, and the extraordinary Astove Coral House, Astove Atoll is a sensational destination where environmental conservation is a priority.
Tatiana is the news co-ordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.