Granitic Seychelles

Country/Territory Seychelles
Area 240 km2
Altitude 0 - 900m
Priority critical
Habitat loss major
Knowledge good

General characteristics

The Granitic Seychelles are in the north-east of a larger archipelago which includes a chain of low-lying coralline islands (see Aldabra, EBA 099). The inner islands were once part of the ancient landmass of Gondwanaland, and are the world's only isolated granite islands, all other oceanic islands being limestone or volcanic. The largest island is Mah

Restricted-range species

The endemic birds are all forest species, and several are able to use secondary forest and plantations. Distribution between islands appears patchy (see 'Distribution patterns table', below) as several of the multi-island species have become extinct on at least one island (although some have been reintroduced). Today only two species are confined to single islands: Otus insularis on Mah

Species IUCN Category
Seychelles Blue-pigeon (Alectroenas pulcherrimus) LC
Seychelles Swiftlet (Aerodramus elaphrus) VU
Seychelles Scops-owl (Otus insularis) EN
Seychelles Kestrel (Falco araeus) VU
Seychelles Parakeet (Psittacula wardi) EX
Seychelles Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone corvina) CR
Seychelles Warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) NT
Seychelles Bulbul (Hypsipetes crassirostris) LC
Seychelles White-eye (Zosterops modestus) VU
Chestnut-sided White-eye (Zosterops mayottensis) LC
Seychelles Magpie-robin (Copsychus sechellarum) EN
Seychelles Sunbird (Cinnyris dussumieri) LC
Seychelles Fody (Foudia sechellarum) NT

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
SC002 Aride Island Special Reserve Seychelles
SC003 Praslin National Park and surrounding areas Seychelles
SC004 Cousin Island Special Reserve Seychelles
SC005 Cousine island Seychelles
SC006 La Digue island Seychelles
SC007 Silhouette National Park Seychelles
SC008 Frégate island Seychelles
SC009 Montagne Glacis - When She Comes Seychelles
SC010 Mahé highlands and surrounding areas Seychelles
SC011 Conception island Seychelles
SC013 D'Arros Island and Saint Joseph Atoll Seychelles

Threat and conservation

The lowland forests of this EBA were cleared by early settlers for timber, for spice and later coconut plantations, and for firewood to fuel the cinnamon distilleries. Today pockets of near-natural forest remain only at higher altitudes in the more inaccessible central areas but these often contain exotic species. Not surprisingly the islands have suffered many extinctions including the loss of two bird taxa, Psittacula wardi and Zosterops mayottensis semiflava, and at least 41% of their island populations of birds (Diamond 1984). Habitat alteration and predation by introduced cats and rats (especially black rat Rattus rattus) are the likely causes of most such extinctions, and these factors continue to be major threats. Fr

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Granitic Seychelles. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2019.