Seychelles Mahe Island flora, fauna, landscape and Botanical and Spice Gardens photography
Flora and Fauna
The animal (fauna) and plant (flora) on the island of Mahe has several endemic and naturalised species some are featured in the image collections below.
Mahe has two formal gardens; Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens and Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, which have endemic, naturalised, introduce and ornamental plant species. Both gardens attract wildlife so great place to visit for nature photography.
Mammals, Reptiles and Invertebrates
The endemic Seychelles fruit bat photographed in the Botanical Gardens and featured in the collection is the only Mahe land mammal apart from the introduced common tenrec and three pests; black rats, brown rats and house mice. Silhouette island just off the north-east coast of Mahe has active roosts of critically endangered sheath-tailed bats.
Featured reptile images include the endemic Seychelles skink and the common house gecko that has a wide distribution in the tropics. The most captivating reptile is the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, featured on a separate webpage.
Land invertebrate images of Arachnida, Gastropods and Malacostraca include; a female palm spider, which is part of the golden orb family often seen amongst electrical cables as well as palm trees; a giant African land snail and a giant mangrove crab that inhabit freshwater swampy stream and estuaries.
Marine invertebrate images Malacostraca and Maxillopda photographed on Anse Bazarca beach; a natal lightfoot crab or swift-footed crab on the rocks near the sea, a young horned ghost crab on the sand where it burrows and common goose barnacle on flotsam washed up on the sand.
Mahe island has around 160 bird species with less than a dozen breeding endemics, twenty-eight migrants including seventeen waders and nine that are globally threatened (Ref 6, Ref SRC).
Resident garden birds I photographed include male and female Madagascan red fody, barred ground dove and Madagasy turtle-dove, the latter two are introduced species.
I photographed six migrant waders on Anse Bazarca beach: crab plover, sanderling, whimbrel, grey plover, ruddy turnstone and terek sandpiper, except for the crab plover which breeds in Red Sea and Persian Gulf region the other waders breed in far north of Europe and Siberia and migrate south to the East African Coast and Seychelles during the harsh northern winter months arriving as early as October and leaving as late as May. I also photographed a common or roseate tern fishing close to the beach.
In the Botanical Gardens, I photographed an endemic Seychelles bulbul and a white-tailed tropicbird. Also, a resident grey heron at Petit Police beach and an endemic subspecies of the striated / green-backed heron on Anse Bazarca beach.
There are many opportunities for plant photography on Mahe Island such as the beach, along the trails or in formal gardens. I try photograph endemic and naturalised plant species that I come across or I have targeted. Sometimes I photograph ornamentals especially invasive species or those that make interesting compositions in pictorial form.
Plants images featured in Scenic Walk and Trails webpage are not displayed in this collection, they include: Thief palm, latanier millepattes millionaire's, salad palm, Clerodendrum sp. shrub, beard lichen, wild pineapple, paradise plum or cocoplum and Seychelles busy lizzie.
The collection of images features the endemic Seychelles pitcher plant and the native beach morning glory, which covers many of the sandy banks that fringe Mahe Island beaches – hawksbill turtles often nest in this type of undergrowth.
Two displayed naturalised plants are the casuarina pines that fringe some of Mahe Island beaches and Star-of-Bethlehem in the Glacis Trois Frères Reserve.
A couple of introduced species that feature is the breadfruit in Anse Royale garden and ubiquitous coconut trees at Anse Marie Louise beach.
Plants photographed in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens and Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden feature in the next image collection.
Botanical and Spice Gardens
The small Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens are located on the outskirts of Victoria and Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden in the southern half of the Mahe Island. They are appealing places for nature photography or just to relax amongst exotic varieties of plants, trees and flowers.
Featured in the collection is an image of a Coco De Mer palm (Lodoicea maldivica), planted by HRH Prince Philip in 1956. This endangered palm species is indigenous to the Mai Valley in Praslin. A specimen of the critically endangered bottle palm is also displayed in the collection. Images of other specimen species include a flower of the canon ball tree, jackfruit, elephant apple and water banana, a Madagascar endemic.
Wildlife Common and Scientific Names List
Birds - Resident
Barred Ground Dove – Geopelia striata
Common or Roseate tern – Sterna sp.
Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
Madagascan Red Fody – Foudia madagascariensis
Madagasy Turtle-Dove – Nesoenas picturata
Seychelles Bulbul – Hypsipetes crassirostris
Striated or Green-backed Heron – Butorides striata degens
White-tailed Tropicbird – Phaethon lepturus
Birds - Migrant
Common or Roseate tern – Sterna sp.
Crab Plover – Dromas ardeola
Grey Plover – Pluvialis squatarola
Ruddy Turnstone – Arenaria interpres
Sanderling – Calidris alba
Terek Sandpiper – Xenus cinereus
Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus
Mammals, Replies and Invertebrates
Common Goose Barnacle – Lepas anatifera
Giant African Land Snail – Achatina fulica
Giant Mangrove Crab – Cardisoma carnifex
Horned Ghost Crab – Ocypode ceratophthalmus
House Gecko – Hemidactylus frenatus
Natal Lightfoot Crab or Swift-footed Crab – Grapsus tenuicrustatus
Palm Spider – Nephila inaurata
Seychelles fruit bat – Pteropus seychellensis
Seychelles Skink – Trachylepis seychellensis
Beach Morning Glory - Ipomoea pes-caprae
Breadfruit - Artocarpus altilis
Bottle Palm - Hyophorbe lagenicaulis
Canon Ball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Casuarina Pine - casuarina equisetifolia
Coco De Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Coconut Trees - Cocos nucifera
Elephant Apple - Dilleniaceae indica
Jackfruit - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Seychelles Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes pervillei
Star-of-Bethlehem - Hippobroma longiflora
Water Banana -Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Ref SRC: Seychelles Bird Records Committee. Annual migrants. [Online] Available from: http://www.seychellesbirdrecordscommittee.com/annual-migrants.html [Accessed 26th Jan 2017].