|Location||Seychelles, Ile aux Vaches|
|Central coordinates||55o 12.00' East 3o 43.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 4m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Bird Island is a sandy cay rising only a few metres high, situated on the northern edge of Seychelles Bank about c.100 km north-west of Mahé. It is very young, perhaps having emerged no more than 4,000 years ago. The island was sparsely vegetated and supported large numbers of seabirds until the end of the nineteenth century. Coconut-palms Cocos nucifera were then planted over most of the island, but were partly cleared after 1967 to encourage the breeding of Sterna fuscata. About 70% of the island is now covered with mixed woodland. This includes the remaining coconut plantation, areas planted with Casuarina equisetifolia and Pisonia grandis forest that has been allowed to regenerate in the centre of the island. Main human activities are tourism (there is a small hotel served by plane from Mahé), small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata||breeding||-||300,000-600,000 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Brown Noddy Anous stolidus||breeding||-||10,000 breeding pairs||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||breeding||-||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Bird Island||Nature Reserve||0||is identical to site||101|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity The island hosts one species of skink and one species of gecko endemic to Seychelles. Green turtles Chelonia mydas (EN) nest in larger numbers than elsewhere in the granitic islands and hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) also breed; numbers of both are monitored. A small number of the giant tortoise Dipsochelys dussumieri have been introduced.
References Feare (1976a, b, 1979, 1984a, b), Feare and Gill (1995), Feare et al. (1997), Fryer (1910).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bird Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014
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