The biodiversity of the Seychelles archipelago is recognised to be of international significance. It is part of the Madagascan and West Indian Ocean Biodiversity hotspot and contains two UNESCO World Heritage Listed Natural Areas.
The archipelago consists of 115 granitic and coral islands within a vast oceanic territory of 1.3 million square kilometres. The relative and long-term isolation (1600 km from the nearest landmass) of the archipelago has resulted in a unique biodiversity characterised within the terrestrial sphere by a high degree of endemism.
The Seychelles terrestrial flora is characterized by over 1000 species of flowering plants of which at least 250 are indigenous with approximately 30 % considered endemic (75 flowering plant species) to the Seychelles (with 85% being located in the national parks) and at least 750 introduced plant species. The Seychelles are also home to at least 200 ferns and bryophytes. The endemic fauna is characterized by 12 globally threatened endemic birds, 5 endemic bat species, 6 endemic caecilians, 5 endemic frog species, 2 freshwater fish, 1 species of giant tortoise, 2 sub species of terrapins with more than 20 lizards of which 14 species and subspecies are endemics. The arthropods are equally diverse represented by a diversity of insects, scorpions, spiders and fruits flies, many of which are endemic. Equally, the marine environment is diverse with over 1000 species of fish of which 400 are confined to reefs, 5 species of sea turtle (of which 2 nest), 55 species of sea anemones, 300 scleractinian corals, 150 species of echinoderms and 350 species of sponges.
The terrestrial landmass of the Seychelles is predominately covered in secondary regrowth forest with 40 600 ha of forest which represents 90% of the total land area. The original flora of the island was relatively floristically poor with only 250 species of indigenous flowering plants. The main vegetation types on the granite islands are coastal plateau, lowland and coastal forests, mangrove forest, riverine forest, intermediate forest, mountain mist forest, glacis type. On the coral atolls where water availability is limited dry woodlands, coastal scrubs and sparse grasslands are common. Mangrove forests cover quite limited areas, but on the Aldabra Atoll extensive mangrove swamps can be found in the inner lagoon. Marine habitats include expanses of sea grass, coral reef, and pelagic habitat
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