491 km
1351050 km2

The tropical waters around the Seychelles support a number of coastal and seabird species. Seychelles islands are nesting grounds for about 18 species of seabirds. Many seabirds breed during the southeast season, from April or May onwards. Species like the Lesser Noddy (LC) and Sooty Tern (LC) form large breeding colonies, with over 5 million of the latter estimated to breed in the Seychelles. Others, like the Fairy Tern (LC) and the White-tailed Tropicbird (LC), breed alone in pairs. Further priority species nesting in internationally siginficant numbers include Audubon's Shearwater (LC), Wedge-tailed Shearwater (LC), Great Frigatebird (LC) nd Lessser Frigatebird (LC). Sustainable management of some seabird populations for harvesting and most threats to seabirds resulingt from past human activity on the island and are largely under control through large-scale monitoring and reintroduction programmes. Methods to monitor seabird populations and to increase information about them have been developed by the national NGO Nature Seychelles, with funding from the
Dutch government. The Rehabilitation of Islands Ecosystems programme, focusing on 5 islands in the Seychelles, was conducted between 2005 and 2010. The project focussed on reintroduction of rare and threatened species, scientific monitoring, improving wardening and ecotourism and building local capacity. In 2002 the Seychelles Seabird Group was formed. Regional priorities for the designation of marine IBAs in the Seychelles include: African banks, Aldabra atoll, Aride island, Bird island, Boudeuse island, Cosmoledo atoll, Cousin island, Cousine island, Desnoeufs island, Etoile island, Fregate island, Islets of Farquhar atoll and Marie Louise island. In some location seabirds form the focus of ecotourism activities, but also suffer from poaching
Key threats to seabirds in the Seychelles include:
o Oil pollution
o Disturbance from tourism
o Poaching and egg collecting
o Overfishing and bycatch
o Invasive species such as the Indian Myna

National priorities
o Develop conservation policies for protection of the high seas beyond the EEZ
o Better cooperation with other West Indian Ocean countries on biosecurity to tackle the threat of invasive species
o Develop, alongside neighbouring countries, a set of guidelines for the environmental impact assessment for oil and gas exploration and other developments in the coastal and marine environment
o Better enforce laws and develop procedures to deal with oil pollution from shipping
o Move towards muti-species management and place a stronger focus on ecosystem based approaches to fishing management as well as strengthening the Compliance, Monitoring and Surveillance systems
o Develop research into the economic value of marine ecosystem services in the West Indian Ocean.

Government's support/relevant policy
In the Seychelles the land 1km inland from the HWM and outwards is defined as a coastal zone. The Seychelles is a Contracting Party of the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region which covers the coastal environment and EEZ of the Seychelles. As part of the Convention the Seychelles agreed to the Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern African Region. The Protocol lists species which are protected under the convention and urges the Seychelles and other Contracting Parties to Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.

Petrels and shearwaters

Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans

IUCN Red List Status

3 (102nd)
12% (83rd)

The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.

Feare, C.J. 1984. Seabird status and conservation in the tropical Indian Ocean. Chap. 26, p. 457-471. In: Croxall, J.P., Evans, P.G.H. and Schreiber, R.W. (eds.) Status and Conservation of the World's Seabirds. ICBP Technical Publication No. 2.
Fishpool, L.D.C. & Evans, M.I. (eds). 2001. Important Bird Areas in Africa and related islands: priority sites for conservation. Pisces Publications and Birdlife International (Birdlife Conservation Series 11). Newbury and Cambridge. 1144pp Nature Seychelles, 2003. Seabird Monitoring Handbook for Seychelles. Nature Seychelles, P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Seychelles at a glance




455 km2

BirdLife Partner

Nature Seychelles


Total number of birds 95
Globally threatened birds 13
Country endemics 15

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas

Number of IBAs 20
Total IBA area 140,881 ha

Endemic Bird Areas

Number of EBAs 2

Recommended Citation
BirdLife International (2020) Country profile: Seychelles. Available from Checked: 2020-04-04