SOUTHERN CORAL GROUP
Southern Coral group is a collective term for 2 outer islands lying in the south of Seychelles, between 135 and 300 kilometres south of Mahe.
Seperated by 171 km between them, the two sand cays that make up the Southern coral group are Ile Platte in the north, and Coetivy Island in the South.
Ile Platte, a small island of just 54 hectares, lies 140 km from Mahe, it is the closest outer island to the granitic islands. It was given its name in 1769 by Lieutenant de Lamperiaire, because of its flat landscape. It was proposed in 1828 that the island be used as an isolation camp for people suffering from leprosy, but in 1838 it was turned into a quarantine station for visiting ships. Many species of bird have bred on Ile Platte but most have gone extinct. Some brown noddy and white-tailed tropic bird still breed, and hundreds of bridled tern roost at night. Ile Platte has a significant population of hawksbill turtles that come to breed annually.
Coetivy lies 290 km from Mahe. The island can be classified as the third largest coralline island, measuring in at 931 hectares, after Aldabra and Assumption. The island was given its name in honor of Chevalier de Coetivy, commander of the ’Ile de France‘, who sighted the island on 3rd July 1771. Formerly a coconut plantation, than later used as a prawn raising industry, the island is now being targeted for tourism.
The island is one of only two islands where the grey francolin (also introduced on Desroches) still survives. It also has a major frigatebird colony of up to 2,500 birds. Hawksbill and green turtles also come to lay their eggs.