Vallee de Mai

Maxx-M - - PROFILE -

Vallee de Mai is a val­ley in the heart of Praslin Na­tional Park, an area that was un­touched un­til the 1930s and still re­tains primeval palm for­est in a near-nat­u­ral state. This palm for­est in­cludes the en­demic species coca de mer, of out­stand­ing uni­ver­sal value as the bearer of the largest nut in the world. The mas­sive ‘sea coconut’ can weigh up to 20 kg, take seven years to ma­ture, and has been the sub­ject of all sorts of myths and le­gends be­cause of its erot­i­cally-- shaped bi-lobed form. This place has been de­scribed as a ‘liv­ing mu­seum’ be­cause it sup­ports a com­mu­nity of plants that ex­isted be­fore the evo­lu­tion of more ad­vanced plant fam­i­lies. It is the only place where all six of the Sey­chelles en­demic palm species oc­cur to­gether, and there are many other en­demic and threat­ened species of flora and fauna. These in­clude 14 species of rep­tiles (cae­cil­ians, geckos, skinks and snakes) that are en­demic to the Sey­chelles, and a unique tree frog. The area falls within one of Birdlife In­ter­na­tional’s Im­por­tant Bird Ar­eas, and sup­ports pop­u­la­tions of rare en­demic birds in­clud­ing black par­rot, blue pi­geon, Sey­chelles kestrel, bul­bul, sun­bird and swift­let.

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