Welcome to the Official Website of Gaea Seychelles
Welcome to the Official Website of Gaea Seychelles

Developing a freshwater biodiversity information system for long-term conservation and management in the Seychelles

Project Title

Developing a freshwater biodiversity information system for long-term conservation and management in the Seychelles
Grant Donor JRS Biodiversity Foundation
Project TimelineJuly 2023 - July 2026

The project aims to achieve a comprehensive freshwater biodiversity database to address conservation and management issues in the Seychelles. It will target notably freshwater fish, micro and macro invertebrates.

The first component contributes aquatic data to the ‘Seychelles’ Holistic Biodiversity Database on species and ecosystems’ (Bio database) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Freshwater biodiversity data from scientific publications, museum collections etc will be compiled into the ‘Bio database’. The number of records and species in the databases will be the main measurable indicators.

Component 2 targets baseline surveys and annual biodiversity inventories of fish, micro and macro invertebrates in 15 rivers including the collection of genetic materials through eDNA. All data collected will be integrated into the Bio database, eBioAtlas (https://ebioatlas.org/) and GBIF.

The 3rd component is the Train-the-Trainer programme to advance the understanding of freshwater systems while developing capacity through internships, graduate programmes and guest lectures. 10 students from UniSey and 5 participants from participating organisations will be trained in identification of freshwater biodiversity, surveys, eDNA sampling and freshwater ecology and 2 Seychellois trained at graduate level in conservation of freshwater biodiversity.

Component 4 is an outreach programme + Citizen Science for different target groups to raise awareness on the importance of freshwater ecosystems, and the production of 3 scientific publications of the status of freshwater biodiversity.


Component 1: Freshwater biodiversity data collection

Component 2: Monitoring programmes

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Component 3: Capacity building

Component 4: Civic engagement

Hands-on education and awareness activities for students

During the school holidays of August 2023, our Little Explorers club on Praslin engaged in our education and outreach programme under the ‘Gaea-JRS River Project’. There were between 20 to 31 Little Explorers for each activity.

They discovered that our drinking water does not come from a water dispenser or a tap but from the river. The activities started off with a hike to the recently opened trail at Glacis Noir in the Praslin national park, where they had packed lunch, and then headed down to visit the river and PUC station at Rivière Nouvelle Decouverte to learn about water capture and treatment. During the visit, they learned and understood the importance of looking after the health of our rivers.

On another trip, they went to Rivière Salazie to discover elements of the river but were surprised to see how dry it was. This raised their questions about what could be causing the river to be so dry.

The Little Explorers also visited the Rivière Fond Boffay where the kids captured aquatic animals for observation and then released them. They discussed the importance of rivers and the other ecosystems whilst following the river down into the mangrove.

At the end of the holiday programme, an audio self-evaluation was done with each Little Explorer to capture their views and most of them preferred the river activities.