FROM COCONUT TO CONSERVATION: THE COUSIN ISLAND STORY
A land and sea Special Reserve, Cousin is 29 ha and extends 400 metres offshore to protect the fringing reefs.
This granitic island became a nature reserve when it was bought by the International Council for Bird Preservation (now BirdLife International) in 1968 to protect the last tiny population of the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus seychellensis). It was transformed from an ecologically impoverished plantation into a thriving indigenous forest that benefits other species.
ECOTOURISM: VISIT COUSIN ISLAND
The island is open to visitors Monday to Friday, between 9:30 am and midday and is closed on weekends and public holidays.
Since 1998, Cousin is managed by Nature Seychelles, a national NGO and BirdLife Partner. The reserve has a longstanding ecotourism program started in the 1970s. Visitor fees sustain the management of the reserve as well as research, conservation and education projects both on and off the reserve. Visits to Cousin are undertaken by local tour operators.
Conservation involves research, monitoring and management of threatened endemic wildlife and habitats.
Cousin Island Special Reserve has the longest running monitoring programme for Hawksbill turtles in the world.
REEF RESCUERS PROJECT
The project, located in the Marine Protected Area, is the world’s first large-scale coral reef restoration project.