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