Places | Seychelles| Cousin Island
Cousin Island (Special Reserve)
Cousin Island is a big conservation success story in the Seychelles. Before 1968 the island was a coconut plantation and had been stripped of most of its native vegetation. A small brown land bird, the Seychelles Warbler was almost extinct, only 26 birds were left in a small patch on the island. Then rescue came. BirdLife International bought the island, removed the coconut trees and restored the 27 hectare island with native trees. The warblers quickly moved into this new but native habitat and careful conservation and management have increased the number of warblers to more than 2000 birds. Another nearly extinct endemic bird, one of the rarest in the world, the Magpie-robin, was re-introduced and its numbers are rising.
Cousin Island is now run by Nature Seychelles, a locally based non-profit organisation, and totally reserved for conservation. Conservation activities include monitoring the island's biodiversity, research, re-introduction of native endangered species (such as the Magpie-robin and giant tortoise), education/awareness and ecotourism. The island is an important nesting site for seabirds and hawksbill turtles. Tourists and locals (like the Wildlife Clubs) can visit Cousin and are taken on a guided and very informative tour by one of the wardens living on the island. Many of the inhabitants are quite tame and it's easy to get close-up views of all the different birds. The giant tortoises are quite friendly, they love to have their neck scratched.
For more information on Cousin Island or Nature Seychelles, please visit http://www.natureseychelles.org.
© JIOQ 2004, 2005