Conservation

14
March
2014

Turtle Season has ended: Turtle bloopers!

turtle emerge

All island managers and conservationist can now take a sigh of relief as the turtle season comes to an end.

After a busy season of patrolling beaches there is something very satisfying in looking back over the seasons data and finalizing it ready for writing the annual turtle report. As I look back over the season there are some turtles that stand out in my memory, I will tell you about these turtles and their interesting stories.

Categories: Turtles, Conservation, Research, Volunteering, Nature People

19
February
2014

A wave of new life

Turtle hatchlings emerge from a nest on Cousin Island

trail-blazer

It started slowly at first. Sporadic, barely perceptible ripples of movement disturbed the otherwise dormant oasis of sand. Like a symphony rising to its crescendo, the bubbling beach was building our anticipation before revealing its secret. There was something beneath the surface and it was fighting its way out.

We had timed it perfectly. With the help of orange marker tape and GPS coordinates marking the location we had found the small patch of sand easily enough. But, that was no guarantee that the nest, so dutifully laid by a critically endangered hawksbill turtle, would hatch in the small window of time we were there. Sitting between beach markers E and F on Cousin Island we were about to become the lucky onlookers to one of those unique spectacles that nature occasionally bestows upon the fortuitous few.

Categories: Turtles, Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People

06
February
2014

Liam has the post Cousin Island blues...

Liam cousin post

It's cold, it's midnight here in London and I'm arriving home after 80 days of island life. I've had to put on my woollen jumper and jacket that haven't been touched in months, that I flew all the way to Cousin Island to leave in a cupboard and then brought all the way back with me just for this occasion, these few hours to get me home from the airport. The smell of soot, rain and tarmac fills my nostrils and the permanent orange glow of UK streetlights are so familiar that in my sleep-deprived state I genuinely wonder if I've imagined the last eleven weeks. The coach driver outside the airport is predictably grumpy and welcomes me on board with a murmur. I'd be pretty grumpy too if I lived here and not on an island paradise, I think to myself 

Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Seabirds

30
January
2014

Could this be a new world record: a very old bridled tern is recovered on Cousin

bridled tern flight

The lives of birds are mysteries especially for the adventurous and long-ranging seabirds. There is only so much actual knowledge that you can gain about a species that spends most of its time in the air or at sea. Neither place is well suited for human beings. A clever man indeed it was that first thought of ringing birds for scientific purpose; attaching a small, individually numbered metal ring to the leg of a wild bird. His name was Hans Christian Cornelius Mortenson and he began by ringing European Starlings in 1899. Since then the ringing and subsequent recapture of birds has provided a wealth of information on migration, longevity, mortality, population studies, territoriality and feeding behaviour.

Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds

21
January
2014

Moved by Nature

A Volunteer's account of her time on magical Cousin

Cousin vista Lindsey

It’s no secret that the Seychelles and Cousin Island in particular hold a special place in my heart.  When I first came to volunteer on Cousin three years ago, I fell in love with everything about the island (except perhaps the mosquitoes!): the multitude of birds flying over the island at dawn, breathtaking sunsets where the whole sky lights up in various shades of orange, pink and purple, skinks and geckos galore, being able to hear the push and pull of the ocean waves wherever you go on the island and of course, George the giant land tortoise.  So it’s no surprise that when I was given the opportunity to return to Cousin to volunteer for a month, I jumped at it immediately.  Although the magic of the island hasn’t changed much at all, my volunteer experience was quite different this time as it was sea turtle nesting season instead of endless birds.  

Categories: Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

18
December
2013

Between a root and a hard exit

A turtle makes a verrrry poor choice in nesting site

Not here turtle

Relaxing in my house on a Sunday afternoon with a good book and a cup of tea is not an unusual place to find me, nor sadly is it unusual for me to be disturbed from my spot of peace and quiet. Usually however the interruptions come from wardens, volunteers, my work phone ringing or a Seychelles Fody sneaking in to my kitchen. This Sunday however my tranquil afternoon was interrupted by a Hawksbill Turtle.

Categories: Conservation, Nature People, Wildlife

30
October
2013

The turtles are coming (But not all lay the first time round)

Liam, a volunteer on Cousin describes life on the island

turtle max aliaga

The turtles have arrived. Data collection is underway. Most of them will have been tagged already, so it is a case of reading those tags, measuring the turtle and if possible counting the eggs.

Categories: Conservation, Research, Nature People, Wildlife

07
October
2013

Turtle season commences

Turtle monitoring

Come September island managers and conservationists all over the Seychelles begin to prepare for the exciting onslaught of the Hawksbill turtle-nesting season. The females start to emerge in September, but nesting begins in earnest in October with a peak throughout November and December. The nesting decreases throughout January and February with the last nest usually recorded early March.

Categories: Conservation, Research, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

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