Nature and Wildlife: Flora, Fauna, Landscape and Gardens
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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.

Swift-footed Crab (Grapsus tenuicrustatus) on rocks at Anse Bazarca beach Seychelles Fruit Bat (Pteropus seychellensis) flying at Botanical Gardens Male Seychelles Skink (Trachylepis seychellensis) at Anse Bazarca beach Giant Mangrove Crab (Cardisoma carnifex) at Aux Pins Mangrove Seychelles Palm Spider or (Nephilia inaurata), Mahe Island, Seychelles Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) on wall Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica), on ornamental plant, Seychelles Common Goose Barnacle (Lepas anatifera) on Anse Bazarca beach Young Horned Ghost Crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) on Anse Bazarca beach

Birds

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.

Male Madagascan Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis) in Aux Pins residential garden Seychelles Bulbul (Hypsipetes crassirostris) at Seychelles Botanical Garden Madagasy Turtle-Dove (Nesoenas picturata) in residential garden at Aux Pins Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach Female Madagascan Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis) in Aux Pins residential garden Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) on Mahe Islands Petit Police beach Striated Heron (Butorides striata degens) fishing on Anse Bazarca beach Barred Ground Dove (Geopelia striata) in residential garden at Aux Pins Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) at Seychelles Botanical Garden Sanderling (Calidris alba) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach Tern (Sterna sp.) fishing on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) on Mahe Islands Anse Bazarca beach

Plants (Flora)

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.

Coconut Trees (Cocos nucifera) at Anse Marie Louise beach, Mahe Island Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) in Anse Royale rural garden, Seychelles Group of Seychelles Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes pervillei) at Glacis Trois Frères Seychelles Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes pervillei) at Glacis Trois Frères Beach Morning Glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae) on Anse Bazarca beach Casuarina Pine (casuarina equisetifolia) at Petite Police beach on Mahe Island Twisted trees on Anse Major Coastal Path Mahe Island Star-of-Bethlehem (Hippobroma longiflora) at Glacis Trois Frères

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.

Bottle Palm (hyophorbe lagenicaulis) in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Water Banana (Typhonodorum lindleyanum) in pond at Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens A place to relax, Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens, Mahe Island Coco De Mer (Lodoicea maldivica) in Mont Fleuri Botanical Old Tree in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Coco De Mer (Lodoicea maldivica) in Mont Fleuri Botanical Palm Trees in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Old Tree in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens, Seychelles Elephant Apple (dilleniaceae indica) in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Elephant Apple (dilleniaceae indica) fruit on ground in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Canon Ball Tree Flower (Couroupita guianensis) in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) in Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Tree Bark in Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, Mahe Island, Seychelles Green Fruit in Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, Mahe Island Green Coconut in Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, Mahe Island Green Fruit in Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, Mahe Island

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

Plants

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

References

Ref SRC: Seychelles Bird Records Committee. Annual migrants. [Online] Available from: http://www.seychellesbirdrecordscommittee.com/annual-migrants.html [Accessed 26th Jan 2017].

Page Contents

Mammals, Reptiles and Invertebrates

Birds

Plants (Flora)

  Botanical and Spice Gardens