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Unique biodiversity, rich history of Seychelles’ Curieuse Island featured in new book

Victoria, Seychelles | February 10, 2018, Saturday @ 09:32 in Environment » GENERAL | By: Sharon Ernesta | Views: 1878
Unique biodiversity, rich history of Seychelles’ Curieuse Island featured in new book

The book “Striking nature of Curieuse Island” is the latest collaboration between Victorin Laboudallon and Danish biologist Steen Hansen. (Romano Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)

Photo license  

(Seychelles News Agency) - A new book showcasing the unique biodiversity and rich history of Curieuse Island – a national park - was launched recently to coincide with National Protected Area Day.

Striking nature of Curieuse Island” is the latest collaboration between Seychellois environmentalist Victorin Laboudallon and Danish biologist Steen Hansen.

“The book highlights the history of the island as well as important information about the island’s natural beauty and richness, from the time of its discovery to the Marion Dufresne expedition to the leprosy colony. The different bushfires which ravaged the island over the years to the conservation work undertaken which has resulted in the island is a protected reserve today,” said Laboudallon.

(Seychelles National Parks Authority) Photo License: CC-BY

The new book – Striking Nature of Curieuse Island - will sell at $25 and can be purchased from Laboudallon and Hansen or at bookstores.

Laboudallon said that the island has so much to offer to visitors and Seychellois. Readers of the book can also discover the different wildlife and nature trails which visitors get to enjoy on the island.

The book also gives details about the move in 1978 to transfer giant land tortoises from the Aldabra Atoll – a UNESCO world heritage – to the island.

The environmentalist said that the island also boasts one of the most magnificent views of Seychelles – a group islands in the western Indian Ocean – with a 360 degrees view.

A view of the eastern part of the island Curieuse. (Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - Wikipedia) Photo License: CC BY-SA 4.0 

“At Mont Caiman, you get to see Silhouette, Ile du Nord, Ile au Foux, Ile Aride, Denis, Grande Soeur, Petite Soeur, Ile Round, St Pierre and up to Pointe Chevalier of Praslin.”

Curieuse – a national and marine park managed by the Seychelles National Parks Authority – is located off the north coast of Praslin – the second-most populated island of Seychelles. It is notable for its bare red earth mountains. It is the only other island apart from Praslin, where the unique coco de mer palms grow naturally.

The book is the fourth which Laboudallon and Hansen have worked on since they started their collaboration in 2006. Hansen said that the two compliments each other.

“I am the biologist and though I am knowledgeable about plants, Laboudallon is the local expert very knowledgeable about the islands natural environment. I also do the writing and responsible for the printing of the books” explained Hansen.

The island is a national park managed by Seychelles National Parks Authority. (Seychelles National Parks Authority) Photo License: CC-BY

Hansen said that the book was printed in Denmark at a cost of around $37,000 for 1,000 copies, including shipping. Hansen said that the cost factor and no sponsorship is a factor that is making it hard for future projects.

“Everything has so far come from our resources. We were thinking of a book about the medicinal plants of Seychelles but unless we can get a help in form of sponsors this project will not materialize. Because there is a lot that goes into a book, besides the research, there are behind the scenes cost which a lot of people do not realize.”

Other publications by Hansen and Laboudallon include Flora of Seychelles, Vallee de Mai and the Striking plants of Aride Island.  

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Tags: National Protected Area, Striking Nature of Curieuse Island, UNESCO World Heritage

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