My journey to the island started off on a boat trip from Grand Anse Praslin to Aride which was about thirty minutes long as the sea was considered to be quite calm compared to how rough it usually is daily. The very first glimpse of the island promised endless adventures as different types of birds namely; Brown Noddies, Lesser Noddies, Ferry terns, White-tailed Tropicbirds, Sooty Terns, Shearwaters and many more were circling the island and sea. They were flying so freely over the sea searching for food not even minding the boat as they knew they were safe from any harm.
As many of you know Aride hosts one of the largest bird populations in Seychelles and ICS is working hard to maintain that population, ensuring the plants are well protected against the hairy caterpillars that had once infested the island, against mice and also poachers who come to steal seabirds and their eggs for example; the sooty terns and shearwaters. The birds, trees and waves are what make up the island as they keep the island noisy, vibrant and full of life. Without the trees there wouldn’t have been the amount of birds there is presently. Most people think that Aride is all about the birds and that ICS focuses mainly on the birds. However, the actual truth is that ICS also ensures the population of the trees keeps growing especially the endemic plant, Wright’s Gardenia. A census is conducted every five years whereby thousands of plants are counted and tagged. The island is always full of surprises and everywhere you turn there’ll be awaiting adventures as there’s always something new to discover.
By Priya Dodin