The Annotated Ramsar List: Seychelles
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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance
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 44,022 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. 22/11/04; Port Glaud District; 121 ha.; 04°39'S 055°24'E. One of the best mangrove wetlands on Mahé, the main island, supporting all seven species of mangrove in the region. The coastal area provides ideal habitat for spawning, nursery, feeding and cover for fish, and the Seychelles endemic Goujon (Pachypanchax playfairii) and the freshwater fish Macanbale (Ophiocara porocephala) are present in the streams. The mangroves along the coast help to stabilize the shoreline, and the upland parts of the site, granitic areas with high drainage, play an important role in the local hydrology. The habitat provided by the site is believed to be important for the little-known Seychelles sheath-tailed bat, Coleura seychellensis, known from only four active cave-roosts, one of which occurs in the local area, and for the endemic Seychelles flying fox (Pteropus seychellensis), both critically endangered species. The feeder rivers running into the wetland have several endemic crayfish. Fishermen use the site for octopus collection, while tourism is a very important income-generating activity, with a five-star hotel planned for the surrounds. The site is already used for educational activities for schoolchildren, especially around World Wetlands Day, and there are plans for expanded ecotourism, with a boardwalk through the mangrove system in order to demonstrate a wide range of natural processes.The WWF Global Freshwater Programme, WWF Madagascar, and Switzerland through the Ramsar Swiss Grant for Africa have been instrumental in helping Seychelles to prepare for accession and to compile the necessary data for this and other potential Ramsar sites. Ramsar site no. 1432. Most recent RIS information: 2005.