Living on a nature reserve

03
September
2014

A First (Green) Turtle Hatching for Many

Thursday (28th August) was the much anticipated day when the Green Turtle nest in front of our Deputy Chief Warden’s house finally hatched. April had been keeping a watchful eye on the nest and had noted signs of activity from the chamber below evident on the surface sand.

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

13
August
2014

A trip to Yorkshire to learn about bird pathology and a literary genius

 

As coordinator for the Seychelles Magpie-Robin Recovery Team (SMART), I am responsible for dealing with any issues that arise with this charismatic yet troubled species. For the past decade or so things have been running smoothly for the endangered bird having been translocated to four islands resulting in an upwards trend on each. Yet it is important to remember that we are still dealing with an endangered species, with around 280 birds in existence.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Nature People, Seabirds, Tourism, Wildlife

08
August
2014

La vie est belle à Cousin

An English woman, an Irish man, and a French woman sat down one day to write about working on a nature reserve...

La vie est belle à Cousin. Our working week gets us up with the sunrise and back home 2 hours before sunset. There’s always loads of work to be done here on the island but also lots fun to be had.

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

25
July
2014

Seychelles “island that belongs to birds” is barometer of the health of the Indian Ocean

 Fairy tern in flight photo by Martin Harvey

(Seychelles News Agency: July 25 2014; Wanjohi Kabukuru) Cousin Island Special Reserve known worldwide as “the island that belongs to birds’ in the Seychelles archipelago is living to its billing. It is teeming with birds again. Well, the nesting season is here again and thousands upon thousands of seabirds are flapping all over the island. It is a seabird celebration of Tropical Shearwater, White Terns, Bridled Terns, lesser Noddys and Brown Noddy’s which are all nesting in Cousin. At this time of the year visitors are strongly adviced not to come with their Sunday best outfits. Wide-brimmed hats at this time of the year are recommended as birds poop on shampooed hair or shiny pates is a surety.  Guano is literally everywhere.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Seabirds, Wildlife

17
July
2014

What else do volunteers get up to

Most of the time volunteers on Cousin Island enjoy the luxury of free weekends. This is a chance for everyone to let their hair down and explore the rest of the Seychelles. Particularly popular trip destinations include the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. 

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

15
July
2014

Seabird census on Cousin completed

'The most important parameters for monitoring seabirds are the size and long-term trends of the breeding population and these can only be determined by repeated censuses over many years' (Burger and Lawrence, 2003).Seabird censuses have been carried out at regular intervals on Cousin during the last 10 years, allowing such trends to be monitored. 

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

09
July
2014

Seabird census on cousin

I arrived on Cousin Island five weeks ago. Since then, I have been involved in several ongoing projects such as monitoring the endemic Magpie-Robin and carrying out a skink census. My main project whilst I am here is to collect data for my final year thesis as part of my degree at Trinity College in Dublin.

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

26
June
2014

Spectacular cousin

My first impressions

After a long trip on the plane and boat, I arrived on Cousin Island to a warm welcome. I was very impressed by the great number of birds on this island.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Wildlife

03
June
2014

To catch a magpie robin

smr-Jeff-Watson

Since my arrival a week ago, we have been trying to capture a new Seychelles Magpie Robin (SMR) fledgling for ringing and to collect blood samples for molecular sexing. However, catching a single bird which is largely sitting around waiting for its parents to feed it, can be challenging.

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

03
June
2014

Volunteering in surreal abundance

trop-shear

When you read explorers' accounts of their first arrival in an uninhabited, pristine landscape, their descriptions speak of a surreal abundance. They speak of literally tripping over dense animal life on the ground, of creatures so tame and unaccustomed to humanity that they do not  scatter at the mere sight or sound of Homo sapiens. Arriving on Cousin Island gave me a small taste of what it might have been like to be an explorer in such a privileged position.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Volunteering

08
May
2014

Cousin Indiegogo campaign: Win a FREE four week conservation expedition on Curieuse Island worth £1,495!

gvi diver

As Cousin Island's solar power crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo reaches its climax, Global Vision International (GVI) http://www.gvi.co.uk/ has teamed up with Nature Seychelles and Climatecaring to offer an amazing prize - the chance to win a free conservation expedition to Curieuse Island.

There are on average 12 hours of sunshine a day in the Seychelles Islands. We want you to donate £1 for every hour. For your £12 donation we will send you a postcard from paradise and our eternal gratitude, Plus you will be entered into a prize draw to win a FREE four week conservation expedition on Curieuse Island, a sister Island of Cousin, worth £1,495. The expedition is operated by GVI (www.gvi.co.uk), the world's foremost volunteering organisation and keen supporter of our work in the Seychelles. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation

15
April
2014

Living with the generator

generator

It’s lunchtime of a baking hot day. I am sitting on the front porch of the research house in hopes of catching the ridiculously occasional movement of air which does not even qualify as a breeze. The laptop I am typing on has 60 minutes of battery left and I am hoping that I can type this quick enough so that I could finish it before the inevitable shutdown of the computer. If I don’t I will have to wait until 6pm when the generator gets turned on. The generator. The noisy, fuel-consuming thing that drives the electronics on the Cousin Island Special Reserve.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Infrastructure

20
March
2014

Kevin the Ketchup Licker and Friends

Spicy-Ketchup-Licker

Over the years, and during many months living on research bases throughout the world, I have learned that roommates come in all shapes and sizes. Big ones, small ones, messy ones, clean ones, friendly ones, rude ones, and I am sure we have all had the occasional strange one before. I certainly have. But none so strange as the roommates I have found myself living with on Cousin Island.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Volunteering

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