The Annotated Ramsar List: Seychelles

22/10/2013

The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

SEYCHELLES

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Seychelles on 22 March 2005. Seychelles presently has 3 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 44,025 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Aldabra Atoll. 02/02/10; 43,900 ha; 09°24’S 046°20’E. World Heritage Site. The Aldabra Atoll is part of the Seychelles archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean, some 1150km southwest of the main island, Mahé. As the largest raised coral atoll in the world, it is widely recognized as one of the most remarkable oceanic islands on Earth. It comprises seven wetland types, including permanent shallow marine waters, coastal saline lagoon area, marine subtidal aquatic seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. The numerous habitat types allow for the support of many different species at different stages of their life cycles. This includes endangered and vulnerable species such as the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the Aldabra giant tortoise Geochelone gigantean; endemic species of flora (40 species) and fauna such as the Madagascar sacred ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus abbotti and 100% of the populations of two species of endemic insectivorous bat (Chaerephon pusillus and Triaenops pauliani). Land use on Aldabra is extremely low with the only uses being research, an education outreach programme, and minimal tourism as tourists are not allowed to stay overnight. The main threats facing the site are potential oil spills from a nearby tanker route, alien invasive species introduction and establishment, and, as with other low-lying islands, climate change. Ramsar site no. 1887. Most recent RIS information: 2009.

Mare Aux Cochons High Altitude Freshwater Wetlands. 02/02/10; Mahé Island; 1 ha; 04°38’S 055°25’E. National Park. As the only wetland area on the largest Seychellois Island and one of three inland wetland areas in the archipelago, this site plays a role in maintaining the biodiversity of the Western Indian Ocean Ecoregion. Several species of global conservation concern are found within this site, including the endangered Seychelles Scops Owl, the critically endangered Vateriopsis seychellarum plant as well as the vulnerable Seychelles frog (Soglossus sechellensis) and Seychelles tree frog (Tachycnemis seychellensis). There has been relatively little study of the site, but it has been recognised as a breeding ground for the tree frogs noted above. As this site is found within the Morne Seychellois National Park, there is little commercial activity being carried out. The main sources of income from the site are from conservation, restoration and ecotourism activities. Invasive plants and animals pose the greatest threat to native invertebrate and smaller vertebrate species as well as to the native plants’ propagation in these areas. Under the state’s jurisdiction, Mare aux Cochons is covered by the protective State legislation; there is currently no site specific management plan, however. Ramsar site no. 1905. Most recent RIS information: 2009

Port Launay Coastal Wetlands (Port Glaud).22/11/2004; Port Glaud District; 124 ha; 04°39’16”S 055°24’21”E. One of the best mangrove wetlands on the island of Mahé, supporting all seven species of mangroves in Seychelles. The coastal area provides an ideal habitat for spawning, nursery, feeding and cover for several fish species including the Seychelles endemic Gouzon or Golden Panchax Pachypanchax playfairii and Spangled Gudgeon Ophiocara porocephala. It also supports the vulnerable Seychelles Swiftlet Collocalia elaphra, Millionaire's Salad Deckenia nobilis, and critically endangered Sheath-Tailed Bat Coleura seychellensis. The mangroves along the coast help in shoreline stabilization, sediment trapping, storm-damage limitation, water quality maintenance, nutrient retention and coral reef and lagoon protection. The main human activities include octopus collection by fishermen, coconut farming, and tourism, with the recent construction of a hotel resort. An Environment Impact Assessment for the construction of this hotel was carried out and the possible impacts on the site have been assessed and measures for mitigation planned. This is one of the top sites for environmental education and sensitisation of pupils and students, as well as the general public, especially during World Wetlands Day. The site is mainly threatened by exotic species, which present an obstacle to assisted mangrove restoration. Encroachment by residential areas, erosion and the possibility of undesirable tourism development are also potential threats. Ramsar site no. 1432. Most recent RIS information 2013.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,342

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