Cousin Island (Seychelles) is located approx 2 km (1,2 mi) west of Praslin Island. The isle is a nature reserve (protected Special Reserve) area managed by Nature Seychelles (nonprofit organization, BirdLife International partnership) and also identified as Important Bird Area. The small island covers a total area of 0,34 km2 (0,13 mi2) and has population under 10.
Cruise ships to Cousin Island Seychelles dock (anchor) at Baie Sainte Anne - port town on the southeastern coast.
A plateau covered with natural woodland extends over most of Cousin Island, which is almost encircled by a sandy beach. Its southern coast is rocky and a 69-m / 226-ft hill occupies the center of Cousin's southern half. There is an area of mangroves as well as 3 small, freshwater swamps. The marine reserve extends 400 m into the sea from the shoreline.
Cousin Island is a former coconut plantation. Since 1968, BirdLife International owns the island. The young coconut trees were removed, allowing the native fauna to recover and the island's original vegetation to regenerate. In 1975, the isle was declared Special Reserve. It is accessible only by sea (from Praslin or Cousin). Cousin Island is open to tourists Monday to Friday, and closed at weekends and on holidays.
The island is popular as a "site for good practice in environmental management". It has been the focus of a lot of case studies and is used by universities and international research organizations as a research base. Cousin Island is a Demonstration Site for ICRAN (International Coral Reef Action Network). Its ecotourism program has won prizes including the Tourism for Tomorrow award and the Conde Nast ecotourism award.
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