The great pyramids at Giza, EgyptElephants crossing the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park world heritage site, ZimbabweThe great mosque in the Old Towns of Djenne world heritage site, MaliBlack and white ruffed lemur, Rainforests of the Atsinanana world heritage site, Madagascar

Vallee De Mai Nature Reserve - Seychelles

Map showing the Locaton Of Vallee De Mai Reserve - Seychelles Area: 0.2 km2

Inscribed: 1983

Criteria:

(vii) aesthetic; (viii) Earth's history; (ix) evolutionary processes; (x)  biodiversity

Values:The Vallee De Mai is a small area located within the 7 km2 Praslin National Park on the Island of Praslin, one of 115 Seychelles islands spread across a swathe of the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar.  It is the smallest of Africa's natural world heritage sites, but it satisfies all four of the Convention's natural criteria.  It's most extraordinary feature is a forest of ‘Coco de Mer' palms which produce the largest seed of any plant in the world. The massive ‘sea coconut' can weigh up to 20 kg, takes 7 years to mature, and has been the subject of all sorts of myths and legends because of its erotically-shaped bi-lobed form.  

The Vallee de Mai has been described as a ‘living museum' because it supports a community of plants that existed before the evolution of more advanced plant families.  It is the only place where all six of the Seychelles endemic palm species occur together, and there are many other endemic and threatened species of flora and fauna.  These include 14 species of reptiles (caecilians, geckos, skinks and snakes) that are endemic to the Seychelles, and a unique tree frog.  The area falls within one of Birdlife International's Important Bird Areas, and supports populations of rare endemic birds including black parrot, blue pigeon, Seychelles kestrel, bulbul, sunbird and swiftlet.

Slideshow of the Vallee De Mai Nature Reserve  

 

Google Earth View:  To view satellite imagery of the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve on Google Earth, click here.  This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing.  Unfortunately the images of Praslin Island (where the Reserve is located) are very poor so it is only really possible to get an overall impression of the island's situation in relation to other islands in the Seychelles group and beyond.

Links to other places in the Strange Worlds category:  Aldabra Atoll  I  Tsingy de Bemaraha Rainforests of the Atsinanana  I  Cape Floral Region

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Other Links:
  Google Earth | UNEP-WCMC Site Description | Official UNESCO Site Details | Birdlife IBA

The Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve is the only place where 6 species of palm tree endemic to the Seychelles Islands are found together The most extraordinary feature of the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve is a forest of ‘Coco de Mer' palms which produce the largest seed of any plant in the world. View across the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve and Praslin National Park (Seychelles) The massive ‘sea coconut' produced by the 'Coco de Mer' palm can weigh up to 20 kg, takes 7 years to mature, and has been the subject of all sorts of myths and legends because of its erotically-shaped bi-lobed form.

 

 

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