logo
Seychelles

Seychelles

Seychelles Wildlife

Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean and is made up of 155 named islands and 7 reclaimed islands. The archipelago is home to more than 94,000 people and one of the highest nominal GDPs per capita in Africa. Seychelles joins only a handful of other countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index, however, it has one of the highest economic inequalities in the world.

Nearly 42% of Seychelles territory and adjacent coral reefs are protected for the conservation of its vulnerable plants and animals. When humans settled on the islands, the animals began to suffer greatly, some species even becoming extinct. Most of the population of great tortoises have perished, along with the extinction of other species including saltwater crocodiles, the Seychelles parakeet, and the chestnut flanked white eye.

There is still a vast number of endemic species and plant life that inhabit Seychelles, making it an incredible tourist destination for those seeking unique flora and fauna.

What kinds of Seychelles wildlife inhabit these islands?

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

The Aldabra giant tortoise is one of the largest tortoises in the world. They inhabit the islands of the Aldabra Atoll and are of a similar size to the tortoises that live in the Galapagos. Giant tortoises were once plentiful throughout the islands of the Indian Ocean, however, their populations were greatly impacted by human activity. The Aldabra tortoise is classified as a Vulnerable species.

The giant tortoise has many threats including habitat loss, hunting, illegal poaching, but one of its greatest threats is rising sea levels. As climate change impacts sea levels, giant tortoises are losing their habitats. The giant tortoise can live anywhere from 80-120 years!

Best place to see the giant tortoise on a Seychelles wildlife trip?

The Aldabra giant tortoise can be found on a few islands in the Seychelles archipelago. They inhabit Cousin Island, North Island, and Curieuse Island. In grasslands, you may have a better chance at seeing a herd of tortoises.

Looking to make a difference for Seychelles wildlife including giant tortoises? Join GVI on a Short-Term Environmental Conservation Internship for six magical weeks!

Seychelles Magpie Robin

This species of magpie is a medium size with a shiny black plumage and white bar along its wings. They inhabit plantations, gardens, and woodlands in the Seychelles islands. The Seychelles magpie robin is a longer-living bird, with a lifespan of up to 15 years. In the 70s, the birds had almost reached extinction. Only 16 birds were left, all inhabiting Fregate Island. They somehow managed to stay alive, and in the 90s with just 21 individuals left, BirdLife International transferred the birds to another island in order to resume conservation.

In 2012, 244-248 birds remain across the islands of Cousin, Cousine, Fregate, Denis, and Aride. They are now considered endangered according to the IUCN Red List with an Increasing trend.

Best place to see the magpie robin during a Seychelles wildlife vacation?

The Seychelles magpie robin tends to inhabit the granitic islands of the Seychelles. They are generally found in the woodlands, gardens, and plantations of Fregate, Cousin, Cousine, Denis, and Aride islands in Seychelles.

Dugongs

The dugong is not to be confused with the manatee, its closely related cousin! Dugongs are found in the Seychelles and can be differentiated from the manatee by its tail that more closely resembles a dolphin tail. They also have a more downturned snout and peg-like teeth, which are different from the molar teeth of the manatee.

Dugongs are the only strictly herbivorous mammals in the sea and are often hunted for their meat and oil. They are at risk for extinction and remain a vulnerable species due to their long lifespan and slow reproduction rate.

Where is the best place to see dugongs on a Seychelles wildlife adventure?

In the 18th century, dugongs were thought to be extinct in the Seychelles, until a small population was discovered in the Aldabra Atoll. Please respect wildlife guidelines when looking for dugongs, as they are considered “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

Sea Turtles

Seychelles is a nesting ground for sea turtles, including Green and Hawksbill turtles. The turtles lay their eggs on the beautiful sandy beaches. From August to February, Hawksbills will lay their eggs, while Green sea turtles will lay eggs year round. The average rate of survival to adulthood is a shocking one in a thousand!

Where can you go to see sea turtles on a Seychelles wildlife holiday?

Sea turtles can most often be seen on the beaches of Mahe Island. Green turtles will often lay their eggs here year round.

Join GVI in Seychelles on a 2-week conservation expedition and have your best chance at seeing sea turtles!

Manta Rays

The Seychelles islands also are home to enormous manta rays! They have forward facing mouths, horn shaped cephalic fins, and triangular pectoral fins. The manta ray can reach sizes of up to 7 metres, and weigh up to 1350 kg. Manta Rays are not considered endangered on the IUCN Red List but are listed as a vulnerable species.

Where can you go to see manta rays among other Seychelles wildlife?

Manta rays are found off the coast of many islands in Seychelles, but a popular destination is Mahe Island. There are many tours and trips you can take from this island in order to see manta rays.

Consider joining a career development program while earning your PADI Divemaster in the Seychelles. This program is offered by GVI!

Seychelles Black Parrot

The Seychelles black parrot may not be recognizable to most as a parrot. They are an endemic species to Seychelles and are also listed as the national bird. They are a dark grey/brown colour, however, their dark bill turns lighter during mating season. The Seychelles black parrot only breeds in mature palm forest. They are considered vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Where can you find the Seychelles Black Parrot on a wildlife tour?

The Seychelles black parrot is found primarily on the island of Praslin, however, there have been some sightings on Curieuse, though not for breeding. The parrot breeds specifically in the mature palm forest of Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve.

Seychelles