Spotlight on the Seychelles Islands: Beautiful and Under Siege by Invasive Species

Though they make up less than 5% of the world’s land mass, islands are home to 20% of bird, plant, and reptile species. The Seychelles Islands are among these major hotspots for biodiversity.

Quarter-ton tortoises, minuscule frogs, charismatic birds and many other astonishing species have long lived together in the dazzling Seychelles landscape. However, hundreds of years of evolutionary adaptation is threatened when invasive species are introduced to the islands.

On isolated archipelagos such as the Seychelles, life evolved in the almost complete absence of mammals. Island species cannot withstand the mammalian predation and competition that evolved on continents.

Island Conservation Science Mangrove

We live, we are told, in the age of the sixth mass extinction, a human-induced spasm of species loss, a great redacting of the story of life. How do we reverse that trajectory?

Island Conservation Science Tortoises Seychelles

The biodiversity of the Seychelles Islands has been compromised by human activities. We are responsible for restoring and protecting the island’s natural state. The presence of invasive species erodes away at the ecological health and beauty of islands like the Seychelles. Programs to remove invasive species are essential for undoing the damage done by introduced species, and for preventing further destruction. We know that native island species rebound when unnatural predators are removed from their habitats. With conservationists’ hard work and dedication, places like the Seychelles can thrive, and can continue to enrich the planet and our lives.

Island Conservation Science Pitcher Plant Seychelles

Check out this great National Geographic article to find out what makes the Seychelles so special, and how their native species can be protected.

About Sara Kaiser

Sara received a BA in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. As a freelance writer and editor, she seeks to produce and highlight stories that support ecological responsibility, body awareness, emotional intelligence, and creative action, and reveal the connections between them.

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