Aride Island is Seychelles' northernmost granitic island (Bird Island is the northernmost of the Seychelles islands). A nature reserve, Aride Island is leased and managed by the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles. The total area of Aride Island is 0.71 km2 (0.27 mi2).
Aride Island is part of Grand'Anse district, located 10 kilometers north of Praslin Island and is 68 ha in area. The only inhabitants here are the reserve's staff, currently 4 Seychellois rangers, 2 expatriate Conservation Officers and 2 volunteers who live in La Cour, the main village of the island, on the south side of Aride.
Being an isle with a small population, there are no government buildings or services on Aride Island and for many services, people have to visit Praslin. An interesting fact is that the wooden plantation house on the island, overlooking the tiny settlement, is one of the last buildings of the type to survive in Seychelles.
The name ‘Aride’ appeared for the first time on nautical charts after French trips of exploration in 1770-1771. The first written account dates back from 1787 and is by the French commandant of Seychelles, Jean-Baptiste Malavois.
Sooty tern eggs were cropped on Aride Island for nearly a century, and up to 220,000 were removed each season. The number of nesting seabirds increasingly declined and endemic land birds were put to death. In 1967, Paul Chenard, island’s owner, ceased egg collection and declared the Aride a reserve. In 1973, Mr.Christopher Cadbury bought the island for the Society for Promotion of Nature Reserves (currently Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts). In 1979 Aride Island was declared a Special Reserve under Seychelles law, including a marine zone of 200 m around it, with penalties including imprisonment for disturbance or killing of its wildlife.
Management was handed over to the Island Conservation Society in 2003. The freehold was transferred to the UK Registered Charity Island Conservation Society in 2006. Aride was leased back to Seychelles' Island Conservation Society in 2008.
Aride Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Aride Island Seychelles dock (anchor) at Baie Sainte Anne - port town on the southeastern coast of Praslin Island.
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