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Geography of Seychelles

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

The archipelago is located on the northern part of the Maskarenerry Ridge. The islands are the highest peaks of the seabed plateau, which, like Madagascar and India, once belonged to the continent of Gondwana and, by continental drift, moved north to its present location.

Geography of Seychelles

According to COUNTRYAAH, the larger islands are part of the Central Group and have a bedrock of rocks, mainly granite. The main island of Mahé, as well as Silhouette, Praslin and La Digue, are all mountainous and have, through the activities of tropical weathering and wave erosion, taken on distinctive forms. They have lateritic soil. The highest point, Morne Seychellois on the Mahé, reaches 905 m above sea level. The Outer Islands consist entirely of coral lime and are spread over a larger area. They are flat and rise only a few meters above sea level.

Climate

The location of the archipelago just south of the equator provides a tropical climate with distinct oceanic character. The monthly average temperatures are between 24 °C and 29 °C, and the daily variation is very small. The prevailing wind during May – October is the southeast pass, while the northeast monsoon blows during November – April. The rainfall decreases from north to south; The island of Mahé has about 2,300 mm per year.

Plant Life

On the dunes of the smaller atoll islands there are shrub vegetation of Scaevola [ʃɛ: ʹ-] (the family goodenia plants) and Tournefoʹrtia (the family of leafy plants) and in some islands relatively rich flora. On the shores of the indigenous islands, Ipomoea [-me: ʹa] pes-caʹprae and coconut palm are the most conspicuous species. The lowland rainforest, which on these islands stretched up to a height of about 300 m above sea level, was dominated by a.k.a. Calophyllum (clusia plants), and Imbricaʹria sigellaʹrum (sapotillia). The mist forest, which at levels above 500 m above sea level. dominated by the endemic species Noʹrthea seychellaʹna (sapotyledons), is also characterized by an exceptional wealth of epiphytic mosses.

There are six endemic palm family on the islands, namely Rosche'ria, Verschaffe'ltia, Nephrospe'rma, Decke'nia and Phoenicopho'rium well as on Praslin, the famous nature tvillingnöt (Lodoi'cea maldi'vica), whose fruit is a drupe, contains the largest of all seeds.

On top of a mountain on the island of Mahé appears the endemic family Medusagyna'ceae with his single species Medusa'gyne oppositifo'lia.

Large parts of the rainforest have been felled, and the condition of many endemic species is critical, e.g. for the dipterocarpus plant Vateʹria seychellaʹrum, which formerly dominated in the lowland rainforest but which is now practically extinct due to its valuable timber.

Wildlife

Two species of bats are the only native mammals. Dugong disappeared, like a delta crocodile, shortly after the first settlers arrived. About 100 species of birds nest on the islands.

Over the past 150 years, two of the 16 endemic land bird species have died out. Several species are threatened, most notably by introduced dogs, cats, rats and pigs, and the owl, which was introduced around 1950. Some examples of threatened bird species are Seychelles Tower Falcon (Faʹlco araea [arɛ: ʹa]), Seychelles Dwarf (Oʹtus insularʹris), Seychelles Coʹpsychus sickellaʹrum) and the Seychelles paradise flycatchers (Terpsiphoʹne corviʹna).

Many species of seabirds also breed, including tropical birds, frigate birds and nodal terns. Among reptiles, three species of worms are mentioned. Aldabra turtle is now only found in the Aldabra Islands, but previously had a subspecies on islands in the Central Group. The African freshwater pelomedus turtle Peluʹsius suʹbniger is represented by a subspecies on the main islands, and on some islands sea turtles reproduce. The family of three species of Seychelles (Soogloʹssidae) is endemic.

Nature conservation

In 2011, there were eight national parks in Seychelles, six marinas and two onshore.

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