Cousin Island, Seychelles
An ideal refuge for seabirds and mangrove forests in Seychelles
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About Cousin Island In Seychelles
A birdwatcher’s paradise, Cousin Island is a beautiful granitic island in Seychelles. Comprising an area of 34 hectares, the island is located 2 kilometers west of Praslin. Mahe to Cousin Island distance is about 50 km. The entire island is protected as a Special Reserve since 1975. Cousin Island in Seychelles is overlooked by Nature Seychelles, a nonprofit organization working with BirdLife International.
Cousin Island was a coconut plantation in the 1900s and today, it is a diverse ecosystem sheltering endemic species of land birds. A plateau with indigenous woodland covers most of the island, which is almost surrounded by a sandy beach. The southern coast of the island is rocky. A 69-meter tall hill rises in the island’s southern half.
There is an area covered with mangrove forests and three freshwater swamps. A marine reserve, protecting coral reef formations, extends about 400 meters into the sea from the shoreline. Its woodland is dominated by Morinda citrifolia, Pisonia grandis, and Ochrosia oppositifolia trees. Casuarina equisetifolia trees and coconut palms cover the coast. The rocky southern side of the island features tall herbs and ferns.
Cousin Island Activities
It is generally a safe and rewarding experience to swim or snorkel in the waters surrounding Cousin Island Seychelles. However, it is recommended that swimmers always wear aqua shoes or diving boots to avoid sharp coral, stonefish, urchins, scorpion fish and rocks. The best time to visit Cousin Island is early morning or evening. The island is open to visitors Monday to Friday. It remains closed on weekends. There is no entry fee of Cousin Island.
Cousin Island Tour
Day trips from Mahe to Cousin Island are provided regularly by local operators. Five of the 11 endemic bird species of Seychelles are found on Cousin Island. The island is home to over 300,000 nesting seabirds. It is one of the only four islands that are home to the Seychelles fody, the Seychelles warbler, and Seychelles magpie-robin. Pairs of brown noddies are present from May to September. Year-round breeding birds include white and bridled terns, white-tailed tropicbirds, and Audubon's shearwaters.
Conservation of Cousin Island
There are many critial animal and plant species at the Cousin Island which needs to be protected. Regular efforts to protect the natural habitat of the sea turtles resting here are underway. A few reptiles, mainly lizards, are also under constant conservation. The reserve area stretches for about 400 km around the island. The coral reeds around the island are also a vital part of the ecosystem.
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FAQ's of Seychelles
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Why should I visit Cousin Island?
Known for its bird population, the island shelters more than 300,000 nesting seabirds and five endemic bird species of Seychelles.
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