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Extreme weather a threat to Seychelles island species

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The tiny island nation of Seychelles and its resident populations of mountain frogs, birds and turtles are already facing threats from increasingly severe weather and longer dry spells.

"The seasons are merging; there's more rain but in short bursts, with long dry periods," said Seychelles climate change expert Rolph Payet. "Drinking water dries up, and the climate plays havoc with breeding and feeding patterns."

Meanwhile, increasingly violent storms are speeding the erosion of the island's beaches, destroying the breeding grounds for the Hawksbill sea turtle. Coral reefs, which ordinarily provide a buffer against the waves, have also been damaged by warming waters.

Recognizing the need for immediate action, the United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility have allocated $8.7 million this year for climate change adaptation projects on the island.

Part of those funds will go toward shoring up water supplies for the island's citizens, but a large portion is earmarked specifically for projects in support of the natural environment.

"The ideas we're testing include using wooden poles as a barrier to protect the coast and replanting trees to help prevent erosion, as well as attempting to regrow coral or transplant and grow more resilient coral," Payet said.

Seychelles is the only country in the world where more than 50 percent of its land is a designated nature reserve (Ella Ide,  AFP/Mother Nature Network, March 12). -- NM

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500


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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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