The Plants and Animals Featured on Seychelles Banknotes
Posted on 6/16/2020
The country of Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southeast Africa. Its banknotes display many of the interesting plants and animals that have made the country an exotic and mysterious destination.
The Coco de Mer, or sea coconut, is shown on numerous notes for Seychelles. The Coco de Mer is a rare species of Palm Tree that inhabits its islands. The tree has been coveted for many centuries due to its medicinal and spiritual properties. Prior to Seychelles being discovered, the nuts of the Coco de Mer would show up on shores of distant lands in which the inhabitants had no idea where the nut had come from. People thought that these nuts were from a sea tree that had unknown powers.
The nuts would be used for a wide range of uses, including being made into jewelry. Today, the tree is endangered due to loss of habitat but is being reintroduced to its former habitats in hopes of bringing this tree back in abundance to its islands.
Fishing in Seychelles makes up a substantial part of its economy, so it is no surprise that many fish are displayed on its banknotes. One interesting security device used on Seychelles’ notes is in the form of a sailfish. The sailfish is known as the fastest fish in the ocean and is well-known among the sportfishing community for its strength and speed. The sailfish embodies two major cornerstones of Seychelles' economy – tourism and fishing. People travel from all around the world to fish in Seychelles due to the abundance of game fishing.
Seychelles has displayed other native animals on its banknotes such as the Seychelles scops owl and Aldabra giant tortoise. The Seychelles scops owl was thought to have gone extinct in the early 20th century but was rediscovered in 1959. It lives in what is known as cloud forests and has wide golden yellow eyes. The population of these owls is less than 500, which makes this owl critically endangered. Its representation on Seychelles' banknotes helps bring awareness to this rare species.
|Seychelles, Central Bank, Pick# 45, 2011, 500 Rupees, frontGraded PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQClick image to enlarge.|
|Seychelles, Central Bank, Pick# 45, 2011, 500 Rupees, backGraded PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQClick image to enlarge.|
The Aldabra giant tortoise was on the brink of extinction in the late 19th century due to overhunting by weary sea-goers. Thankfully, its population has recovered since it was deemed illegal to hunt. The Aldabra giant tortoise is the only wild tortoise species left in the Indian Ocean; others have become extinct at the hands of humans.
The Aldabra giant tortoise can weigh well over 500 pounds and is alleged to be able to live over 150 years. Its population has bounced back from near extinction, with the species’ population being around 100,000 today. The conservation of these tortoises show the great progress that Seychelles has had in preserving this species and is undoubtedly one of the reasons this animal is on their banknotes.
|Seychelles, Central Bank, Pick# 39, ND (1998), 100 Rupees, frontGraded PMG 68 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQClick image to enlarge.|
|Seychelles, Central Bank, Pick# 39, ND (1998), 100 Rupees, backGraded PMG 68 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQClick image to enlarge.|
The banknotes of Seychelles are a great display of what makes the country an island getaway. Any of these notes are sure to be a conversation starter and are a reminder of the need for conservation in order to help preserve the unique species of Seychelles for future generations.
- Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute – Aldabra Tortoise
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species – Seychelles Scops Owl
- Wikipedia – Aldabra
- Wikipedia – Aldabra Giant Tortoise
- Wikipedia – Lodoicea
- Wikipedia – Sailfish
- Wikipedia – Seychelles Scops Owl
- Wikipedia – Seychellois Rupee
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