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Under cover of darkness in the steamy jungles of the Seychelles thieves creep out to harvest the sizeable and valuable nuts of the famous coco de mer palm, but their activities are threatening its long-term survival.Nicknamed "coco bottom" on the Indian Ocean archipelago for its curves like a woman's buttocks, some 40 of the giant nuts have been stolen since the beginning of the year on the island of Praslin. With some 17,000 trees counted on Praslin and 10,000 on neighboring Curieuse island, the tree is now on the warning "red list" of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN.It says numbers have dropped by almost a third within three generations of trees, warning the harvesting and illegal sale of the nuts poses a significant threat. A nut, which can weigh as much as 35 kilograms, can reportedly sell for as much as $450 per kilogram ($202 a pound) on the black market, meaning a single nut can sell for thousands.
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