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A chequered past

Despite Aride Island's chequered past – once a coconut plantation, then later harvested for sooty tern eggs – it was never invaded by rats or cats, (the non-native species that spell disaster for island wildlife), and so remained the richest of the granitic Seychelles' islands and home to over a million seabirds. Its south facing beach provided egg laying sites for green and hawksbill turtles, the sand covered ground crawled with crabs, and it had the world’s highest density of skinks (a type of lizard) with over one per square metre.

Aride remained the special place where fairy terns hovered around your head, shearwaters wailed under the cover of darkness and Seychelles magpie robins joined you for breakfast.

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