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Location Seychelles, Praslin
Central coordinates 55o 40.00' East  4o 13.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 173 ha
Altitude 0 - 135m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Seychelles

Site description Aride (68.3 ha) is the most northerly of the granitic islands, lying 9 km north of Praslin and 45 km north-east of Mahé. The site also includes 105 ha of coastal marine habitat. A ridge of Precambrian granite, rising to 135 m, dominates a small plateau of 9 ha. There is a single beach 800 m long on the southern side of the island while the rest of the coastline is composed of cliffs and rocky shore. The island is densely covered with mixed native woodland dominated by Pisonia grandis, Ficus lutea and F. reflexa. Granite outcrops and open glades are abundant on the hill, where there are also smaller areas of Euphorbia pyrifolia scrub. A young, managed woodland, replanted with indigenous species (Callophyllum inophyllum, Terminalia catappa, Morinda citrifolia, etc.), and a small wetland, are present on the plateau. Human activities are limited to nature conservation, research and ecotourism (day visits and confined to main paths only). Most of the former coconut plantation has been progressively eliminated and the only remaining agricultural activity is restricted to a small garden for resident staff. Coral reefs surround the island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Puffinus lherminieri breeding  43,000-72,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica breeding  8,700-28,400 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus breeding  276-972 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding  1,100-1,300 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus breeding  261,000-366,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus breeding  4,400-11,600 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris breeding  136,000-197,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Common White Tern Gygis alba breeding  3,900-5,900 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis resident  1999  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1,000,000-2,499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Aride Island Special Reserve 70 protected area contained by site 70  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
other -
Notes: Collection of seabird eggs.

Other biodiversity There are eight resident reptile species, of which seven are endemic (including Mabuya wrightii and M. seychellensis at extremely high densities). Among the large invertebrate fauna, the whip scorpion Phrynicus scaber is present in good numbers. The turtles Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) and, occasionally, Chelonia mydas (EN) nest on the beach. Of the 100 vascular plants recorded on the island, Rothmannia annae is now restricted to Aride, as may be the Peponium sp. (taxonomy uncertain).

References Betts (1997, 1998), Bowler and Hunter (1999), Bullock (1989), Carty and Carty (1996), Carty and Herzig (1995), Castle and Mileto (1991a, b), Cuthbert and Denny (1995), Komdeur et al. (1997), Lidstone-Scott (1993), Lucking and Ayrton (1996), Millett et al. (1999), Ramos (1998), Warman (1979), Warman and Todd (1984).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Aride island. Downloaded from on 21/10/2014

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