Latest News

News updates from Cousin Island

14
January
2016

Wildlife don’t take Christmas breaks

A report from Nature Seychelles International Volunteer program

 Life's a beach

Cousin Island Special Reserve is a hub of year round activity for a variety of wildlife. In a single day you are guaranteed to spot the several seabird species that nest here, as well as other wildlife species such as the charming Seychelles Magpie Robin (Copsychus sechellarum) the charismatic Seychelles skink (Mabuya seychellensis) and it’s more intimidating cousin, the Wright’s skink (Mabuya wrightii).

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Volunteering, Seabirds, Wildlife

31
December
2015

I took part in the world’s longest-running monitoring program for Hawksbill turtles

A report from Nature Seychelles International Volunteer Program

 Even those that get spooked and return to the water without laying are recorded

When turtle nesting season is at its peak on Cousin Island Special Reserve, patrolling the beaches for emerging turtles is an important task of our work day. Nature Seychelles staff and volunteers go out every hour, usually in pairs, to check the beaches for emerging or nesting turtles. If a turtle comes up the beach, you can see the track she leaves behind and locate her. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Volunteering, Marine

03
December
2015

Birder’s paradise

 Seychelles Warbler and chick by Cas Eikenaar

Birds, that’s what I came to Cousin Island Special Reserve for. As a birder back home in my native England, I was seduced by such exotic beauties as magpie-robins and warblers. Throw in some noddies, the whiter than white fairy terns, plus the chance of such stonkers as crab plovers, well, why wouldn’t I leave my desk behind?

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds

22
October
2015

Memories worth capturing

 Nothing compares to spending time capturing wildlife

In my opinion, the main ingredients for a great photograph are patience and luck. Patience goes hand in hand with the passion for photography. Luck is more a matter of increasing your chances of encounter and being ready to click the shutter button at this sacred moment, when all the factors suddenly come together for you to take a picture worth keeping forever.

15
October
2015

Immersed in a wild world

Report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program

 Lesser Noddy and chick

As the bottom of the boat scrapes the sandy beach, you instantly realise you are not alone. In a big city you feel like one out of thousands and here on Cousin Island Special Reserve it is the same. The only difference is that here, you are surrounded by thousands of wild animals which is proof that conservation leadership really works. There are countless birds flying around everywhere, nesting everywhere; you can hear them and smell them.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife, Marine

14
October
2015

A MAGICAL ENCOUNTER WITH NATURE

  Even the Aldabra tortoises on Cousin know that theirs is a magical existence

As you step off the boat onto Cousin Island, you know you are about to get a taste of paradise as your senses start to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of this protected nature reserve. Numerous birds painted in the skies above, fluttering and singing as if to welcome the many visitors to the island and some perched on trees as if poised for a photoshoot. Lizards scurry into the forest undergrowth or behind fallen leaves, while the resident Giant Aldabra tortoises expectantly wait for a stroke on their uneven but enthralling faces.

Categories: Conservation, Birds, Seabirds, Tourism

17
September
2015

Counting the Inhabitants of Paradise

A Report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program

 Mirjam Jehle trying to determine if this giant tortoise is a she or a he by the shape of its belly

Many people dream of living on a deserted little island in close proximity to nature at its most pristine, but not many get the chance to do it. I am one of the lucky ones. I get to live on Cousin Island Special Reserve for a whole two months!

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering

09
September
2015

Sights and sounds of paradise

A report from Nature Seychelles International Volunteer Program

 The forest floor on Cousin is literally crawling with an array of wildlife (photo by Isabella Schmid)

Cousin Island Special Reserve, a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean; this 27 hectare paradise is where I will be spending the next seven weeks. As our boat landed on the pristine beach, there it was, the sound of nature. Apart from the warm welcome by the wardens, volunteers and staff, there was also another voice that welcomed us; a noisy but wonderful tweet from the trees by the beach; a Lesser Noddy (Anous tenuirostris).

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People, Seabirds

27
August
2015

Living and working in paradise

A report from Nature Seychelles international volunteer program

 Baby Giant Tortoise by Matijn Hammers

Cousin is a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The magnificence of this small shred of paradise leaves me breathless. The natural environment here seems almost untouched due to the hard and consistent conservation work by Nature Seychelles. To be part of this conservation project means a lot to me. As a biology student, fieldwork and experience is very important to widen my knowledge. Now after just one week on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I have already experienced some incredible moments.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People

14
August
2015

Spotting Sharks

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program

 Nurse shark photo by Nick Graham

Seychelles, where is that? I vaguely remembered reading the name after ‘googling’ the world’s best dive destinations. I can safely say that after being here for the majority of two months, my knowledge of this tropical paradise, including its geography, Creol culture and cuisine, and most importantly Cousin Island, has since expanded.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering, Marine

04
August
2015

My time on Cousin

A Seychelloise writes about her time as a volunteer with Nature Seychelles’ international volunteer program

 The Seychelles Warbler by Jason Souyana

Picture this little bird, chirping, alone in the forest of an island lost in the Indian Ocean calling for his partner, but no one answers. He is unique and lives in this very special place and nowhere else in the entire world.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People, Marine

10
July
2015

My first week as a volunteer on Cousin Island

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer program

 Tourists arriving on Cousin

I discovered Cousin Island Special Reserve whilst searching for a project which would allow me to get up close and personal with seabirds in the wild and I certainly found that on this special nature reserve. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People

03
July
2015

My second family on a beautiful isolated island

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Programme

 Christmas tree, cousin-style

Volunteering with Nature Seychelles on Cousin Island Special Reserve is not always the easiest job around. Having lived here on this beautiful yet isolated island for over four months this year I have missed out on many family oriented holidays. For example Christmas and New Year’s with all of my family in South Africa is always a time for many celebrations and festivities. To top it off, today it’s my birthday.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People

25
June
2015

Sunny days ahead for a rare robin

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Programme

 The Seychelles Magpie Robin is an attractive bird with a beautiful song by Martijn Hammers

As a volunteer on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I feel privileged to have interacted with the Seychelles Magpie Robin (Copsychus sechellarum), a remarkable success story for the island and indeed, for Seychelles. Once found in respectable numbers on several islands, by 1970 this curious bird endemic to the Seychelles, was down to only 23 individuals due to predation by cats and rats, as well as reduced feeding habitat.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People

11
June
2015

A turtle's tale

A Report from Nature Seychelles' International Volunteer Program

 Hawksbill turtle nesting on Cousin Island

The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a relatively small species of marine turtles inhabiting tropical waters around the world. Hawksbills are classified as critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Volunteering

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