Interesting facts revealed through the project
- Populations of breeding Sooty Terns and Brown Noddies on Ile aux Goëlettes (Farquhar) and Black-naped Tern colonies on Farquhar and St François exceeded International Important Bird Area (IBA) criteria;
- The Red-footed Booby population on South Island (Farquhar) has been increasing rapidly over the past c.10 years. The first ever breeding attempt was recorded on St François;
- The nesting population of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters on Desroches has benefited from consistent predation control measures. Numbers have increased from 300 to 1100 pairs within 3 years.
- Coral reefs around the Farquhar Atoll have been severely impacted by cyclone ‘Fantala’. Mean live hard coral cover (LHCC) has remained low and constant over the last decade, at around 16-17%;
- Encouragingly, there are signs that branching corals are recovering slowly. So long as there are no major storms or bleaching events, this trend is projected to continue over the next 5 years;
- There is a noticeable decline in fish populations in recent times for several key species and functional groups; principally: Napoleon wrasse, Humphead parrotfish, groupers and snappers.
- Only Red mangroves (Rhizophota mucronata) are found on St François and Poivre;
- Mangroves cover 22.6 ha and make up 18.2% of vegetation across both islands.
- Seagrass covers 13,349.7 ha and makes up 31% of marine habitat across all four islands;
- Thassalodendron ciliatum and Thalassia hemprichii are the most common seagrasses found across reef flats.
- There has been a clear increase in the nesting activity of green turtles.
- Nesting activities of hawksbills remain stable at relatively low levels.
Alphonse and Desorches
"With continued protection across all PA sites, the turtle nesting populations can be expected to continue to increase".