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Location Seychelles
Central coordinates 53o 8.00' East  6o 10.00' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 52 ha
Altitude 0 - 1m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Nature Seychelles



Site description The site lies c.300 km south-west of Mahé in the Amirantes group. It is a low-lying coral island dominated by coconut-palms and Casuarina equisetifolia. There is a resident human population engaged in agriculture and fishing. The island is bisected by an airstrip, but there are no regular, scheduled flights. The site is used as a support base for the collection of Sterna fuscata eggs on the neighbouring island of Desnoeufs to the south-west, where there is no resident population outside the nesting season.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. Marie Louise differs from all other populated coral islands of the Amirantes group in that it retains large numbers of breeding seabirds. This is presumed to be due to the absence of rats. It is the only outer island with large numbers of breeding Anous tenuirostris. It also hosts the largest population of Gygis alba in the outer islands. There are no indigenous landbirds and just one introduced species, Passer domesticus.

Non-bird biodiversity: The turtles Chelonia mydas (EN) and Eretmochelys imbricata (CR) nest and may be taken by poachers.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus breeding  1,000-3,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris breeding  2,000-5,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Common White Tern Gygis alba breeding  2,000-4,000 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
urban/industrial/transport -

References Skerrett (1995).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Marie Louise island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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