Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles

The Aldabra Atoll site in the Seychelles was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The site is comprised of a coral reef surrounding four large coral islands, which enclose a shallow lagoon. Protected from human influence, Aldabra's beaches are safe nesting habitat for hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata - pictured here), one of the Indian Ocean’s largest congregations of nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas), and the world’s second largest breeding populations of greater and lesser frigate birds (Fregata minor & Fregata ariel). The site also provides a refuge to 100,000 Aldabran giant tortoises (Dipsochelys dussumieri), one of the few surviving giant tortoise species of the Indian Ocean region.

Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the "Crown Jewels of our Ocean" and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.