Island Conservation Society staff at Aride Island Nature Reserve have long fought a lonely battle against poachers, who come to the island trampling through sensitive breeding grounds to take nesting seabirds and eggs. Meanwhile, whereas the marine ecosystem is protected in theory to a distance of 1 kilometre, in practice this means nothing to poachers who raid reefs and damage corals around the island. Poachers will even sometimes kill birds senselessy and leave the corpses on the nature trail, perhaps as a message to ICS staff that they believe they are immune from prosecution.
Perhaps this is all about to change dramatically. ICS lacks the manpower and a vessel to combat poaching. Seychelles Coastguard does not. The two organisations have now teamed up to provide Aride island with the protection it deserves.
Read more at these resources:
Seychelles Nation press release
Seychelles Nation article
Seychelles News Agency
ICS has joined other stakeholders to celebrate National Protected Areas Day and contributed an article to the local media.
Seychelles has declared 30% of its Exclusive Economic Zone as protected, approximately the size of Germany. In terms of terrestrial coverage, Seychelles has one of the highest ratios in the world, with 47% of its total landmass protected. Aride Island is one of these protected areas.
The full news article can be accessed here.
Aride Island is the flagship island of ICS. It is the largest nature reserve in the granitic islands, with more seabirds than any other Seychelles island, five endemic land birds and its own unique plant. It is surrounded by waters with a rich marine life. Our new website has recently been launched featuring galleries and information on over 200 species of Seychelles flora and fauna.
The January to March 2021 edition of Silhouette , the in-flight magazine of Air Seychelles features an article with a selection of wildlife. The article may be downloaded here.
This is just a sample of what can be seen online. The full website and galleries may be seen here.
Arts teacher and Eco-Schools leader Beryl Serret, from Anse Royale primary school, has donated one of her paintings to Island Conservation Society (ICS).
"I have over ten years’ experience in the profession but four years as the Eco-Schools leader, responsible for the implementation of the Seychelles' Eco-Schools programme in Anse Royale primary school" said Ms Serret. "I recently developed a keen interest in Aride Special Reserve following a series of interactive class presentations on ICS and its conservation programmes delivered at the school.”
The painting depicts the diverse reptile species found on Aride Island. It has already been used on a new website launched just before Christmas 2020. It can be viewed on the website along with other paintings and photographs of Aride's unique wildlife here.
The Island Conservation Society team on Silhouette has successfully grown and propagated Wright's Gardenia, thought to have been eradicated from the island by the clearance of land for agriculture and other human development following colonisation. However, the plant survived on Aride Special Reserve – an island which is ecologically managed by ICS.
Wright’s Gardenia Rothmannia annae or Bwa Sitron in Creole, is one of the most beautiful endemic trees in the Seychelles and has heavily scented flowers.
More details of about this and other plants of Aride can be found on the Aride Island website
The full news article may be read here.
We welcomed seven students and their Eco-School leader from Praslin Secondary School to Aride Island Special Nature Reserve on a one-day educational field visit last month!