March 21, 1983 The Museum of Natural History launches a pioneering international collaborative study of Aldabra atoll in the Indian Ocean, one of the world’s most scientifically interesting coral atolls. The five-year study focuses on the marine ecosystems of the island, especially those of the lagoon and its fringes.
The Aldabra Atoll site in the Seychelles was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The site is comprised of a coral reef surrounding four large coral islands, which enclose a shallow lagoon. Protected from human influence, Aldabra’s beaches are safe nesting habitat for hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata – pictured here), one of the Indian Ocean’s largest congregations of nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas), and the world’s second largest breeding populations of greater and lesser frigate birds (Fregata minor & Fregata ariel). The site also provides a refuge to 100,000 Aldabran giant tortoises (Dipsochelys dussumieri), one of the few surviving giant tortoise species of the Indian Ocean region.
Posted: 21 March 2017