|Central coordinates||55o 39.00' East 4o 20.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 70m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Cousine island is situated 5 km south-west of Praslin, 2 km from Cousin. The main part of the island is formed by a ridge of ancient granite rising to 70 m, overlooking a small coastal plateau on the eastern side, fringed by a 1 km long sandy beach. The rest of the island is surrounded by a rugged, rocky coastline. The hill is covered by closed-canopy woodland dominated by Ficus nautarum, F. reflexa and Pisonia grandis. The plateau retains small patches of this woodland, the remainder now being covered with scrub and grassland. The island was formerly exploited for coconuts (Cocos nucifera), planted extensively during the twentieth century, and for seabirds (mainly shearwaters). These activities were abandoned in the 1970s and coconuts are being progressively eliminated. A small orchard and garden has been kept for the few resident staff. The coral reefs around Cousine hold a rich marine life and some traditional fishing takes place. It has a helicopter pad and a small-scale, high class tourist facility.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica||breeding||-||31,000 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus||breeding||1999||440-850 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris||breeding||-||47,800-71,200 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common White Tern Gygis alba||breeding||-||5,000 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis||resident||1999||present||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Seychelles Magpie-robin Copsychus sechellarum||resident||1999||present||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Seychelles Fody Foudia sechellarum||resident||1999||present||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Cousine island||Nature Reserve||26||is identical to site||26|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Two species of skink endemic to Seychelles, Mabuya wrightii and M. seychellensis, occur at extremely high densities. Other abundant endemics include several species of geckos (Phelsuma spp. and Ailuronyx sp.) and invertebrates. A small population of the endemic snake Lycognathopis seychellensis also occurs. Hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) nest on the beach.
References Copsey (1997), Copsey and Kraaijeveld (1997), Hitchins (1997), Kraaijeveld (1997), Le Maître (1997), Millett et al. (1999), Rocamora (1997b), Wright and Passmore (1999).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cousine island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/09/2014
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