The slideshow ‘tells the story’ of the Socotra Archipelago starting with the most iconic of species – the endemic Socotra Dragon’s blood tree, named after its red sap (which is used as a dye and medicine). This is just one of the extraordinary drought-tolerant and succulent plants that live here, where 37% of the 825 plant species are endemic (occurring nowhere else in the world). In the central highlands of the main island these trees grow on rocky granite and limestone plateaux, contributing to the scenic splendor of the distant granite domes that characterize some of the mountain peaks and sheer limestone cliffs. Birdlife International recognizes 22 Important Bird Areas in Socotra, and the slideshow illustrates a small selection of the endemic (and near-endemic) species, including the Socotra sunbird, Socotra white-eye, Socotra golden-winged grosbeak and Socotra sparrow as well as the more widespread Egyptian vulture. Another extraordinary endemic plant that grows on the island’s rocky lower slopes is the fleshy-stemmed Socotra Desert Rose which features in a number of the photos. The final part of the slideshow focuses on the coastal areas with their rocky headlands and gleaming white sand beaches. A couple of photos are included to draw attention to the growing threat of overgrazing by camels and other livestock, and the growth of settlements with all the development pressures that accompany them.
The following Flickr photographers and other sources are acknowledged with thanks for their contributions to this slideshow: Rod Waddington, Valerian Guillot, Nik Borrow, ebird.org, Birdlife.org, africabirdclub.org, amusingplanet.com, Obie Oberholzer, globotreks, adventuresoflilnicki, Dan, Wikipedia, Gerry & Bonni, Salvador Carranza, Maria Victoria Rodriguez, oeil-et-plume.net, Pinterest, cbc.ca, theatlantic.com, Mochail Vorobyev, and worldatlas.com