Cousine Island – Seychelles

If someone asked me what is my favorite place on the planet to photograph it would be hard to single out any one place but Cousine Island in the Seychelles would certainly be high on my list.

Cousine is a small island just off the coast of Praslin and is a combination luxury resort and private nature reserve.

Like most islands its natural fauna and flora had been decimated by the introduction of alien plants and cats. In 1992 the island was purchased and a conservation programme introduced to protect nesting sea turtles and maintain existing populations of endemic land birds including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, the Seychelles Warbler and the Seychelles Fody.

Feral cats had been present on the island but were eradicated in 1985. Luckily, Cousine Island has never had the misfortune of having a rat population present on the island, hence the large numbers of ground nesting sea birds like White-Tailed Tropic birds, and Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters. It also has a population of Aldabra giant tortoises. Hawksbill and green turtles nest on this island.

The island has undergone an extensive vegetation rehabilitation programme which involves planting of indigenous flora and the removal of alien plant species.

It is now restored to its natural state and the best way I could describe it is a miniature Galapagos Island. There are animals everywhere you look and what is more they are relatively tame. A photographers dream.