The Green Turtles of Bird Island
Bird Island lies 105km northwest of Mahé on the edge of the Seychelles bank. With a land area of 70ha, Bird is the most northerly of the Seychelles islands. Formerly known as the Ile aux Vaches, after the dugongs that could be found in the shallow waters around the island, these gentle giants have long disappeared, becoming locally extinct soon after the appearance of humans. Today Bird Island is home to 300,000 pairs of Sooty Terns which breed during the southeasterly trade winds. The sandy beaches are important nesting sites for the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle, while in recent years a population of green turtles has made the warm clear waters and extensive seagrass beds their home.