Saint Helena Island — Gallery

Scenes from the island of Saint Helena — a speck in the South Atlantic Ocean with 4,000 inhabitants but most well known for Napoleon and Jonathan the tortoise.

Humans have left their mark on the island of Saint Helena. How could we not, considering people have lived there for some 500 years? The historical record doesn’t tell us what the Portuguese saw when they discovered the island in 1502. Our earliest engravings and images show a largely barren island stripped of its vegetation — by human activity, goats, and rabbits. Yet, fossil evidence suggests that endemic vegetation stretched down to the shoreline, and the lower slopes of Saint Helena were incredible breeding colonies for now-extinct birds.