Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve (1983)
Seychelles

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In the heart of the small island of Praslin, the reserve has the vestiges of a natural palm forest preserved in almost its original state. The famous coco de mer, from a palm-tree once believed to grow in the depths of the sea, is the largest seed in the plant kingdom. 

Seychelles 1980. 40c. Female Coco-de-Mer. Seychelles 1980. 2.25R. Male Coco-de-Mer. Seychelles 1980. 3R. Pelvis-shaped fruit of Coco-de-Mer. Seychelles 1980. 5R. Canoeing the gourds of Coco-de-Mer.
Praslin is the universal blueprint for the perfect tropical island. In its limited area, the richness and variety of plant and animal life is astounding. Fantastically shaped huge granite boulders dot the island. Hidden in the interior of Praslin is virgin forest and the exquisitely beautiful Vallee de Mai. Praslin is home to 3 of the world's rarest birds: the Seychelles bulbul, the fruit pigeon and the black parrot. Of the latter, only about 100 remain, of which several are found in the Vallee.
 
Seychelles 1968. First Landing on Praslin in 1768, Coco-de-Mer, and Black Parrot. Seychelles 1962. Black Parrot [Coracopsis Nigra]. Seychelles 1979. Bulbul [Hypsipetes Crassirostris].

Seychelles 2006. Stamp number three in a set of seven, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Seychelles' independence.

It is the only place in the world where the coco-de-mer palm is found. Its nut, the curious female pelvis-shaped fruit, has been successively believed to be the fruit of the tree of knowledge, a powerful aphrodisiac, and the object of a dying emperor's quest (Rudolf II of Hapsburg offered 2 gold florins for a single nut towards the end of his life). 

In June 2006, the Seychelles issued a set of 7 stamps, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the island state's independence. One stamp from this set depicts particularly La Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. 

  • Seychelles 2006. Stamp number three in a set of seven, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Seychelles.  

Sources and links: 

Many thanks to Mr. Blair Stannard (Canada) for all help and research. 

Other World Heritage Sites in the Seychelles (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Seychelles Section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 27 mar 2007  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
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