Tropical Island Recovery : Cousine Island, Seychelles, Hardback Book

Tropical Island Recovery : Cousine Island, Seychelles Hardback


Tropical island species and ecosystems are threatened worldwide asa result of increasing human pressure. Yet some of theseislands also lend themselves to restoration, as they are physicallydefined units that can be given focused attention, as long asresources are available and clear conservation targets areset. Cousine Island, Seychelles, is a tropical island thathas received such intensive restoration. From a highlydegraded island in the 1960s, the island has now been restored towhat is believed to be a semblance of the natural state. Allalien vertebrates have been eradicated, as have 25 invasive alienplants. Cultivated plants are now confined to one smallsection of the island. Poaching of nesting marine turtles hasbeen stopped, leading to an increase in turtle breedingnumbers. The shearwater population has increased in size withpoaching activities under control. The Sooty tern has alsoreturned to the island to breed. The coastal plateau has beenrestored with over 2500 indigenous shrubs and trees, which have nowgrown into a forest carpet. There are strict quarantine procedureson the island, keeping it free of rats, mice, various alieninvertebrates and potentially invasive alien plants. Threethreatened Seychelles endemic land birds (Seychelles warbler,Seychelles magpie robin and Seychelles white-eye) have beenintroduced and are thriving, with these introductions contributingto both the magpie robin and the white-eye being downgraded from CRto EN (the warbler remains at VU). Ecotourism, and natureconservation for the local inhabitants, have been introduced in away that does not reduce the improved compositional, structural andfunctional biodiversity of the island. The result of therestoration effort appears to be sustainable in the long term,although challenges still remain, especially with regards toadequate clean water and a non-polluting power supply on theisland. Cousine is thus paving the way in the art and scienceof tropical island restoration as a legacy for future generations. There is no other book available on this case study. Theneed for the book arises from the fact that here is a positive notefor conservation in these times of so much negative news on thestate of our environment. More importantly, the book showshow such restoration should be done, and is therefore a model formany other islands around the world. The book has manyillustrations so as to give the book wide appeal and literally toshow what can done in terms of restoration. All this is basedon much scientific detail, including many new data. The aimis, by way of example, to demonstrate how practical restoration,based on sound scientific research, can be carried out for thebetterment of ecological integrity and ecosystem health.




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