New book explores history, fauna of Seychelles' Fond Ferdinand nature reserve
The new 110-page book is entitled 'Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand.' (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A first book providing the history and the plants in the Fond Ferdinand nature reserve on Seychelles' second-most populated island of Praslin is now available from author Steen G. Hansen.
The 110-page book entitled 'Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand' is another collaboration of Hansen, a Danish biologist living in Seychelles, with Seychellois environmentalist Victorin Laboudallon.
The book is on sale at the Post Office Gift shop, the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) Duty Free shop, National History Museum at SCR350 (22$) to SCR375 ($23).
The book explores Fond Ferdinand's flora and fauna and the features of the reserve, which was opened in 2013. Located at Grande Anse Praslin, Fond Ferdinand, in which the coco de mer, the world's biggest nut, grows naturally, covers 122 hectares of land. It is six times larger than Vallee de Mai, one of Seychelles' UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Hansen said that the book's aim is to share information about the nature reserve.
"We are dealing with the world's biggest coco de mer nature reserve, two and half times bigger than Vallee de Mai. It has been neglected a little bit and there hasn't been focus on it like there is for Vallee de Mai," he said.
In September last year, the Seychelles Islands Foundation that manages the Vallee de Mai assumed the responsibility for Fond Ferdinand, and extended its conservation mandate to one of Praslin's and Seychelles' most cherished protected areas.
In his preface to the book, the Seychelles Environment minister, Flavien Joubert said, "The world is precious, and the only way to preserve it is to know about it by self-examination. I can only encourage you to pay a visit to this unique area. Friendly and professional guides are there to assist you, and with Mr Hansen's book and his easily accessible leaflet covering the two 'main' trails in the reserve you will obtain the maximum of visiting or re-visiting this magnificent site."
Hansen said it took around a year to research, write and publish the book instead of six months as it normally does due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand' also explores the subject of the bushfires that have ravaged the nature reserves throughout the years.
"If there is a big one, it damages part of the reserve. You will see some of the pictures I put under the chapter bushfire. It is still naked after 22 years. The rehabilitation goes extremely slow due to many factors in the country. Which is why it is so devastating, it takes so long almost a generation to get back to something again," he added.
Hansen has added a new publication on Seychelles to his collection which includes 'The Flora of the Seychelles', 'Striking Nature of Curieuse Island', 'The Tea Factory - its nature trail and Morne Blanc' and 'The National Botanical Garden of Seychelles' launched in October 2018 and the 'National Biodiversity Centre of Seychelles' last year.