email a friend
printable version
Location Seychelles, La Digue
Central coordinates 55o 50.00' East  4o 21.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 1,010 ha
Altitude 0 - 333m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Seychelles



Site description Located c.10 km east of Praslin, La Digue is the fourth-largest of the granitic islands. It is surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches, rocky coasts and a fringing coral reef. Traditional activities, including copra-production and fishing, were the basis of the economy until the tourism industry began in the 1970s. The western plateau (161 ha) was originally entirely covered with marshland and an extensive native forest of Calophyllum inophyllum and Terminalia catappa. Today, only 25% of its area retains indigenous woodland. Significant drainage has taken place, but an important wetland of reedbeds, small ponds and mangroves, Lanmar Soupap, remains. The rest of the plateau is now occupied by housing and tourism developments, coconut plantation and farmland. Little development has taken place on the hill, Nid d’Aigles, in the east of the island. Much drier than the plateau, it supports mixed woodland with both exotic and indigenous trees, small streams, large granite boulders and caves. The site includes La Veuve Special Nature Reserve.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Seychelles Blue-pigeon Alectroenas pulcherrima resident  1999  present [units unknown]  A2  Least Concern 
Seychelles Swiftlet Collocalia elaphra resident  1999  present [units unknown]  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Seychelles Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone corvina resident  1999  present [units unknown]  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Seychelles Bulbul Hypsipetes crassirostris resident  1999  present [units unknown]  A2  Least Concern 
Seychelles Sunbird Nectarinia dussumieri resident  1999  present [units unknown]  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
La Digue Veuve Special Marine Reserve 8 protected area contained by site 8  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -
not utilised -

Other biodiversity Amphibians include one species of frog (Tachycnemis seychellensis) and three caecilians, all endemic to Seychelles. The western plateau marshes are a stronghold for the rare terrapins Pelusios castanoides and P. subniger. The Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis silhouettae (CR) is present on La Digue and large numbers of the bat Pteropus seychellensis also occur.

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

References Bullock et al. (1988), Neufelt (1992), Rocamora (1997b), Skerrett and Bullock (1992), Watson (1981b, 1991).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: La Digue island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife