Cousin seabird population & breeding census

Seabird monitoring

Cousin is an important breeding area for many species of seabird in particular the White tern, White-tailed Tropicbird, Brown & Lesser Noddys, Bridled Terns, Tropical Shearwaters and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. All of these species can be found on Cousin throughout the year. Some are year-round breeders, others have particular breeding seasons. All of these birds are a critical part of the oceans food web and can be used as bio-indicators of changes in the oceans. Likewise on land their guano creates a nutrient enriched soil which supports a wealth of plans, trees and shrubs who in their turn support a large abundance of insects providing food for the reptiles and land birds of the island.

Throughout the year seabird population censuses are carried out in order to gain a long-term data set allowing for trends to be discovered. As well as this we monitor the breeding success of the birds ad apply rings so as to gain a better understanding of their habits and behaviour. This information allows us to make important conservation management plans to ensure all efforts are made to conserve this important sea bird population.

Nature Seychelles is also the founder of the Seychelles Seabird Group (SSG), which combines all the important seabird nesting islands. The SSG meet every six months to share data, information and to act as a troubleshooting arena for seabird conservation managers. Visit the new SSG blog for more seabird news!

For information on volunteering on this project please see the Get Involved page.