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From completely Ravaged to beautifully Rehabilitated: Cousine Island’s Story

From completely Ravaged to beautifully Rehabilitated: Cousine Island’s Story

Since its occupation in 1818 by Frenchman Pierre Hugo, the natural beauty of Cousine Island was once plundered for its bountiful natural resources without remorse or consideration for its ecosystem. The island’s indigenous wildlife was mercilessly hunted to near extinction. The eggs and chicks of local birdlife were gathered and sold until the island was no longer a viable nesting ground. Endemic trees were cut down and harvested while being replaced by cash-crops which all but destroyed the islands natural state. However this merciless rampaging through the island’s natural wonders came to a halt and subsequent reversal when the island was purchased in 1992 by Cousine Island Company Limited.

A Transformation of epic Proportions

The establishment of Cousine Island as a destination for exclusive island charters saw the island’s transformation from a battered and embattled wasteland to a lush, granitic paradise teeming with endemic life. As part of their unique conservational management structure, the island’s hotel took it upon themselves to return the island to its natural state.

Alien vegetation was quickly removed in large segments from the island, and were replaced by indigenous trees and plants that could better support the local wildlife.

Hawksbill and Green turtles were purchased or rescued and reintroduced to the island which once more became a safe-haven for these species.

Local birdlife was reintroduced to the island in great numbers, where mating pairs continue to rise in population. The removal of alien pests such as feral cats from the island gave these endemic creatures a far better chance at flourishing.

Even the waters around the island are now teeming with fish, manta rays, whale sharks and turtles which once faced danger of extinction around Cousine’s shores.

Though hard work could only get one so far in these efforts, what is really needed to maintain Cousine Island’s sustainable ecosystem was capital. And so to meet this demand, profits generated from the island’s hotel were injected back into the upkeep and conservation efforts of the island, meaning that guests could play an important role in saving the island from its past by simply staying in one of its luxury villas.

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