North Island has been uninhabitated and undiscovered for most of its history. It was the first Seychelles island on which a recorded landing was made by sea farers in 1609. From 1826 until the 1970s, North Island was owned by the Beaufond family from Réunion. During this time the Island was a plantation for growing fruit and spices, as well as producing guano, fishoil and copra. After the copra market collapsed, the plantation was sold and North Island fell into disuse. Feral animals and alien plant species out-competed the indigenous fauna and flora with distressing consequences. A new chapter in the history of North Island began in 1997 when North Island was purchased by a team including Wilderness Safaris, with a view to creating not just the world’s leading private island hideaway, but also a sustainable ecotourism destination. A unique opportunity existed to rehabilitate, preserve and study the Island’s ecosystems.