The site is a small, circular coral cay in the Amirantes group, situated c.300 km south-west of Mahé. There are no trees; the vegetation comprises mainly grass and low bushes surrounded by a steep sandy beach. It is fairly easy to land in calm conditions. There is no resident human population.
See Box for key species. The site is one of only three known breeding sites in Seychelles for Sterna dougallii. In addition, Sterna fuscata (c.5,000 pairs) and Anous stolidus (800–1,200 pairs) breed. All three species breed in dense colonies during the south-east monsoon.
Non-bird biodiversity: The turtles Chelonia mydas (EN) and Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) nest and may be taken by poachers.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Etoile island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/05/2019.