Island-Conservation-Preventing-Extinctions-Seychelles-Award-Seychelles-feat

Sustainability in the Seychelles

The Seychelles North Island Resort supports ecotourism while protecting the islands’ native species.

The North Island of Seychelles (sey-chelz) was the recipient of the National Geographic World Legacy Award for Conserving the Natural World. National Geographic annually collaborates with the international tourism trade fair ITB Berlin to acknowledge five outstanding sustainable franchises within the ecotourism industry. The five World Legacy awards include Destination Leadership, Earth Changers, Engaging Communities, Sense of Place and Conserving the Natural World.

The North Island Resort’s fundamental philosophy involves prioritizing the natural ecosystem of the island while providing a sustainable getaway for tourists. The North Island was privately owned as a copra plantation until it was sold in the 1970’s. Invasive species introduced earlier in the century radiated throughout the island, disrupting endemic species until the island was purchased with the intent of establishing an eco-tourism resort in 1997. The Seychelles North Island resort aligned with the Noah’s Ark project to ensure that the island would become a haven for native species once again.

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Copra is the oil extracted from sun-dried coconut meat. Credit: Rita Willaert

Scientists working for the Noah’s Ark project facilitate the reintroduction of endemic species, while also observing temperature, migration, and the effects of climate change to gain a comprehensive understanding of the island’s ecology. As a result, North Island is once again supporting native species such as the Seychelles Sunbird and the Vulnerable Seychelles White-eye.

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The Endangered Seychelles White-eye. Credit: Chris Hall

The restored natural ecosystem on North Island is attracting migratory birds once more, including the Wedge-tailed Shearwater and White-tailed Tropicbird. Additionally, the Critically Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle and the Endangered Green Sea Turtle are re-establishing breeding colonies on the island’s beaches.

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Critcally Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle searching for a nesting site. Credit: Gerwin Sturm

The resort offers numerous activities and tours for visitors to engage with the environment and witness the resulting effects of ongoing conservation projects. North Island Resort is committed to protecting native species, and aims to sustainably “turn back the ecological clock” and restore North Island’s ecosystem to the conditions that once supported a vibrant community of plants and wildlife.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

About Dylan Meek

Dylan Meek is an undergraduate student at UCSC pursuing a major in marine biology. During her time as a student, she has become interested in conservation, and hopes to pursue a career in wildlife conservation. She has been enamored with nature her whole life, and enjoys spending her free time outdoors or in the ocean.

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