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Nature Protection Trust Of Seychelles Charity Profile
A non-profit, non-governmental organisation registered in Seychelles, NPTS works to conserve the biodiversity of these unique islands. Our conservation projects are based on informed scientific research which aims to protect species by protecting their habitats.
Successful projects include the establishment of the Roche Caiman Bird Sanctuary on Mahé; Seychelles Terrapin Research Project; Giant Tortoise Conservation Project and the Seychelles Red Data Book 1997.
NPTS is a member of IUCN, The World Conservation Union and members have been represented on the IUCN Species Survival Commission in the Re-introduction Specialist Group, Madagascar & Mascarene Reptile & Amphibian Specialist Group, Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Heron Specialist Group and the Southern African Invertebrates Specialist Group.
NPTS - helping to save our natural heritage
We are involved in numerous research projects and field studies as well as action programmes. Our conservation work focusses on ecosystems (especially the Silhouette island key biodiversity area) and flagship species, including giant tortoises and the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat.
NPTS works to conserve birds through research, publication and conservation of important bird habitats. These have included the establishment and management of the Roche Caiman Bird Sanctuary, monitoring for the African Waterbird Census and publication of 'Birdwatch'. We have active interests in conservation of and research into the Seychelles kestrel (Falco araea).
With the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew NPTS has investigating the conservation genetics of threatened Seychelles plants to develop strategies for conserving the most critically endangered species. Current collaboration includes work on Impatiens gordonii with the Eden Project. We are establishing new populations of this critically endangered plant and similarly threatened species (Achyrospermum seychellarum and Pseuderanthemum tunicatum). Work on Silhouette island aims to increase the numbers of Trilepisium gymnandrum and to re-establish Rothmannia annae on the island.
INVERTEBRATE CONSERVATION PROJECTS
NPTS is investigating the status of Seychelles invertebrates. These are often overlooked but are a vital part of biodiversity. NPTS work has rediscovered species not seen for 100, years such as the Seychelles bee hawkmoth. NPTS also works with the Zoological Society of London on the breeding of threatened species from Fregate island.
SEYCHELLES GIANT TORTOISE CONSERVATION PROJECT
Project patron: Sir David Attenborough
Since 1840 it has been assumed that all Indian Ocean Giant Tortoises had been exterminated with the exception of the Aldabran species. Detailed research by NPTS confirmed, in 1997, that two supposedly 'extinct' Seychelles tortoise species do survive.
The NPTS Seychelles Giant Tortoise Conservation Project has established captive breeding groups with the aim of rescuing these two species from the extinction that was thought to have claimed them over 150 years ago. This remarkable project was established on Silhouette island in 1997 when viable breeding groups of both species were brought to the island. Successful captive breeding is leading to the reintroduction of tortoises to the wild in 2006. This is a unique opportunity to rescue two charismatic species and to demonstrate that apparent extinction need not always be forever.
TERRAPIN CONSERVATION PROJECT
NPTS research discovered that the two Seychelles species are on the edge of extinction. Fewer than 250 of either species survive due to pollution, predation and development. We aim to save these species through captive breeding and reintroduction to secure reserves.
SILHOUETTE ISLAND CONSERVATION PROJECT
In 1996 NPTS started a major project to conserve Silhouette; the third largest of the central islands.
Silhouette's steep mountains and untouched forests make it the most natural of the islands, with large populations of rare animals and plants. Its unique ecosystems contribute to its being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Indian Ocean.
Despite the great biological value of Silhouette, it has no legal protection. With the arrival of the first inhabitants the forests were plundered for their timber; unsuccessful attempts at agricultural development were made. Now that a new sense of the value of Silhouette's biodiversity is prevalent, special reserve status for the island is being campaigned for by NPTS.
NPTS aims to preserve the natural habitats of Silhouette and to restore degraded areas to their near-natural state. The initial phase of the Nature Protection Trust's management plan for the island is the establishment of a tropical island ecology research station.
Your support for one of the many conservation projects on Silhouette can help to secure its future. The Silhouette conservation project uses volunteers to assist in research and management work. Volunteer information can be obtained from Silhouette volunteers.
NPTS continues to develop new research and conservation projects. Several new projects are planned but cannot be implemented until funding has been secured. These projects include research on the Seychelles kestrel (Falco araea) and Seychelles sheath-tailed bat (Coleura seychellensis). NPTS currently carries out monitoring and research on Seychelles reptiles and amphibians and is intending to carry out further research on the Seychelles chameleon (Calumma tigris) and Seychelles tree-frog (Tachycnemis seychellensis).