Photographer Thomas Peschak's "NatGeo Wildlife - Photographer of the Year finalist" image, taken at Aldabra
However the Magadagascar nightjar's natural habitats are the moist lowland and montane forests, they are among the happy inhabitants of Aldabra.
It is a landbird, leading a nocturnal lifestyle, and feeding on insects. They almost always roost on the ground, and their excellent camouflage keeps them safe against predators (and tortoise - see our earlier port :) ) and helps them in the "hunt for prey".
Photo: SIF FB
Hermit crabs can live for more than 30 years in their natural habitats on tropical seashores. They are very social, and need pals, they thrive in large colonies, where they often sleep piled up together. They enjoy climbing, foraging, and exploring, and they even collaborate in teams to find food.
Their gills require high humidity in order to breathe and as their skin doesn’t stretch and grow like ours does, they need very deep, damp sand to burrow under in order to molt.
Source: SIF & peta.org
The Aldabra kestrel is the absolutely close relative of the Malagasy (Madagascar) spotted kestrel, only slightly smaller, and it was previously considered the same species as the Seychelles kestrel, in Creole katiti. It can reach a size of 30 cm. The wings are 170 mm to 183 mm at the males, and slightly wider at the females.
The habitat of the Aldabra kestrel is the Aldabran Island of Grande Terre, and feeds mainly on insects, usually taken them during the flight. They occasionally eat small birds and mammals, taken on the ground.
Thinking about Aldabra, the first we picture are the amazing mushroom shaped formations. But the atolls are amazingly diverse, the wetlands and mangrove forests are also part of the wonder, called Aldabra.
The mangroves provide a crucial nursery habitat for many species of fish and nesting colonies for seabirds.
If you want to compare the size of Aldabra and Mahe, this pic of the Google Earth helps you.
Mahé could nearly fit in the lagoon of Aldabra.
If hungry, the mostly herbivore tortoises would eat anything, even the carcass of others.
In the southern atolls they find less food, than in the inner islands, therefore they often get supplement to their habitual diet.
A Madagascar Turtle-dove has learnt not to go too close to a reptile the next time. The bird managed to escaped with only losing a few feathers, which clearly ended in the mouth of this giant.
Photo and source: SIF
When thinking about Aldabra, we usually have the lagoons and land of coral limestone in mind. The photo below shows the SIF research camp at Grande Terre, in the southern side of Aldabra Atoll. The dune in the background is called Dune d'Messe, and it is the second highest point of Aldabra.
Photo: FIF and http://instagr.am/derheilos
Clear water, huge school of fish, recovering coral beds... The beauty of Aldabra reveals itself even in the harsher conditions of the southeastern monsoon.
Just look at the amazing pics the SIF rangers shot at Jonny channel, on the north coast of the atoll between the islands of Polymnie and Malabar.
The ever changing conditions and strict rules also affect the flora in Aldabra... They are coded to survive, even with the tiniest bit of soil around their roots, salt sprays and strong sun.
In addition, similarly to the inner islands, the southeast monsoon provides very little fresh water in the southern atolls. For some of the species the way of adaption is to loose their leaves and going back to the "stand-by". After, when the rains of the northwestern monsoon approach the islands, they start to flourish again.
Photos and info source: SIF
Aldabra is far away to be uninhabited :) Along the rangers and the other 99.999 tortoises, the pictured gentleman also lives there.
According to the quote of SIF, "he likes to join the team at the mess lured in by the delicious smell of food cooking. There really is no way of stopping this grandfather tortoise once he has made his mind up to go somewhere."
Photo and quote: SIF