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Danish author Steen G. Hansen adds Morne Seychellois National Park to his Seychelles book collection

Victoria, Seychelles | March 20, 2022, Sunday @ 09:00 in Environment » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4665
Danish author Steen G. Hansen adds Morne Seychellois National Park to his Seychelles book collection

The Morne Seychellois National Park is situated on Mahe and covers an area of approximately 3,045 hectares. (Steen G. Hansen)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - A new colourful book focusing on the Morne Seychellois National Park has been published by Steen G. Hansen, a Danish biologist and environmentalist who lives in Seychelles, adding another publication to his collection of books on Seychelles.

The 144-page illustrated Morne Seychellois book, co-authored by senior horticulturist at the new Seychelles Garden & Park Authorities, Damien Doudee, was launched in February.

The Morne Seychellois National Park is situated on Mahe, the main island of Seychelles, and covers an area of approximately 3,045 hectares. The park is 10km in length and equipped with an extensive trail network, covering more than 15km. It is one of the richest key biodiversity areas of the islands - where most of the local endemic flora and fauna are found. The national park runs through three districts – Bel Ombre, Bel Air and Port Glaud.

"Since the book is meant to be a gift book, we have decided to let the public trails tell the story. Why? Because the trails are for the public and that means it makes little sense to start to describe something scientific that is far out in the bush where not many will visit," Hansen told SNA.

The result is a spell-binding journey - well balanced with striking natural, cultural and historical elements, where the latter, among others, includes the pilgrimage site at the Trois Frères mountain; slavery at Mission Lodge; the Ethiopian Gallas-people at Dans Gallas; and the so-called Doctor's House at Mare aux Cochons.

The liberated slave monument of Egbert Marday at Mission Lodge. (Steen G. Hansen) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

On the cultural side, readers can learn more about the cinnamon era from the beginning of the 1900s till the end of the 1960s and an attempt to compensate for the loss of income from cinnamon by planting a number of different potential lumber trees in central parts of the park.

Mist forests, endemic plants and animals – exciting trails of discovery

The book shows stunning mist forests with dense moss cover and the many outstanding plants and animals of which a high number are endemic, rare, and even globally threatened.

A producer at the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation and respected naturalist, Pat Matyot, had the opportunity of having a preview of the book.

"This is a sort of book that fills many different niches. It will serve to plan your hike, to put a name to plants and animals you come across, as a perfect souvenir of your immersion in Seychelles nature, and as the ideal gift for friends, whether they have visited Seychelles already or are still to come to our shores and discover the real treasures of our intriguing flora and fauna.

The book is lavishly illustrated with a gallery of photos chosen from a collection of 35,000 photos from Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

Approaching the second viewpoint on the Anse Major trail. (Steen G. Hansen) Photo License: All Rights Reserved 

 "The book is laid out with a presentation of the chosen trail on one page broken, however, in little icons so it is more appealing to readers and with a matching gallery of photos on the following pages for those people who prefer pictures instead of too much text," said Hansen.

In her preview of the book, the Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry, said: "Being very well written and innovative laid out, this book has all the qualities that will enable one to experience a wondrous journey through the lavish tropical rainforest of the Morne Seychellois National Park."

With this latest project, Hansen has added a new book on Seychelles to his already impressive collection, which includes 'The Flora of the Seychelles' and 'Striking Plants of Aride Island – both from 2016. In 2017, he wrote 'Vallee de Mai – a Primeval Palm Forest, a Nature Reserve and a UNESCO Heritage site. The year after came 'The Striking Nature of Curieuse Island'; 'The Tea Factory - its nature trail and Morne Blanc';  'The National Botanical Garden of Seychelles' and 'Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden'. 'The National Biodiversity Centre of Seychelles' was published in 2019 and finally in August 2021, Hansen added 'Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand – a special Reserve on Praslin' to his collection.

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