The Socotra Islands (l’ archipel de Socotra) is located in the northwest of the Indian Ocean, near the entrance to the Gulf of Aden. The archipelago consists of three islands: Socotra, Abd Alkuri and Samha, with a total area of 410,460 hectares. The archipelago has a total of 12 terrestrial nature reserves and 25 marine nature reserves.
The Socotra Islands were inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2008, stating that it is of great significance in the protection of world biodiversity.
The Socotra Islands have a large number of different plant species: Of the 825 plantations on the island, 307 are unseen in the rest of the world. Due to the dry climate and small island area, the species of terrestrial animals on the island are not many other than reptiles, but bird species are abundant. For example, the number of white vultures on the island has exceeded 1,000, and it is the most concentrated white vulture group in the world. Due to the sharp decrease in the number of white vultures, this animal was included in the Red List of Endangered Species by the World Conservation Union (UICN) in 2007. We can also see here 6 bird species and 10 subspecies unique to the archipelago.
The Socotra Islands are extremely important for the continuation of marine biodiversity in the Arabian Peninsula. Here we can find four endangered sea turtles in the waters off Socotra Island.
Among the 283 species of corals in the archipelago, there are both African corals and Arabian corals, and the degradation of coral reefs is not as severe as that in the Indian Ocean. Socotra Islands has 85% of the Red Sea reef-building corals, 75% of other coral species, and 70% of coastal fish.
Jaeger-LeCoultre invites you to view pictures and video clips of Socotra Island on the website of The New York Times from October 17.