Home Book on the islands Natural History Endemic plants and animals The Invertebrates of Prosperous Bay Plain, St Helena: a survey
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St Helena and Ascension are two of the most isolated islands in the world, the tips of enormous volcanoes rising from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean between southern Africa and Brazil, eight hundred miles apart.

St Helena was formed some 14 million years ago, but Ascension is only a tenth as old. The difference in age confers a special interest. On St Helena, the few successful colonising plants and animals evolved and diversified in isolation for millions of years; mature natural communities developed and the landscape was transformed. In contrast, the ecological youth of Ascension leaves it strange and forbidding, but with its own biological surprises and its own austere beauty.

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Since the arrival of humans five centuries ago, the fauna and flora of these islands have changed irrevocably. The vast seabird colonies have been decimated and many plants and animals have become extinct or are teetering on the brink. There is still an opportunity, however, to appreciate what remains and to understand what has been lost.


St Helena

Lot, an intrusion of phonolitic rock exposed by erosion, St Helena

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Selected Bilbliography - St Helena and Ascension

Selected Bibliography- Island Biology and Sea Birds