Lesser Noddies breed on rat-free protected islands of Seychelles, especially in the granitic islands where there are major colonies at Aride, Fregate, Cousin and Cousine. The species is also a non-breeding visitor to Maldives in significant numbers, but hitherto the origin of Maldivian birds has remained a mystery. Under a GEF Small Grants Programme in Maldives supported by the UNDP, NGO FC Frigator from Haa Alif Hoarafushi Island is undertaking a conservation initiative at roost sites in Ihavandhippolhu Atoll. This involves tracking the migration of the birds via satellite transmitters to identify breeding colonies. A total of eight Lesser Noddies have been tagged to date.
One of the Lesser Noddies tagged in Gallandhoo Island by FC Frigator on March 25, 2022, left Maldives on April 2, to arrive on Cousine Island, Seychelles on April 10. That is a distance of 2,400 km in 8 days at an an average speed of 12.5 kph!
To learn more about this conservation programme click on:
The Flight of the Sea Birds by UNDP Maldives - Exposure