Mayotte is home to one of the richest collections of tropical insular flora in the world in terms of species density – in 2005 about 1000 species of vascular plants were inventoried in an area of 354 km².
With 22 species inventoried or about a quarter of all species in the world, the island is also home to a remarkable diversity of marine mammals. Among them are 12 species of dolphins and the emblematic Dugong (Dugong Dugon), a particularly threatened creature believed to be the original mythical mermaid. Two species of turtle – the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) – breed on the island’s beaches.
Finally, Mayotte has 735 hectares of mangroves and 760 hectares of seagrass beds which are home to 270 species of algae and 11 species of sea grasses. Six marine protected areas cover a total area of 4,548 hectares, only 3% of the lagoon’s area. Read more