Nature People

11
May
2017

Stepping back in time for conservation

A report from Nature Seychelles International Volunteer Program

 A white tern chick decorated in sunset colours

As one of eleven people living on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I feel privileged. After an eventful boat ride with a saltwater shower, we arrived on the beautiful long stretch of Cousin’s main beach. Walking up the beach the first thing I see is a vast number of birds flying overhead and dropping down into the forest. I quickly see the island is made up of only beach and forest, and understand why the birds choose to be here.

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

24
March
2017

An observer of Nature

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program

 This White Tern chick will grow into a fairy-white adult

One of the most significant aspects of my experience on Cousin Island Special Reserve has been being surrounded by wild animals who (for the most part) don’t mind having me around. Whilst here, I have had a lot of interactions with animals for the purposes of research.

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

16
March
2017

Cousin Island: a life of its own

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer program

 A Hawksbill Turtle heads back to sea after laying on Cousin Island

‘Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not things to show.’ As my two month adventure volunteering with Nature Seychelles on Cousin Island comes to an end, this quote has never been more appropriate.

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

01
December
2016

In Conservation luxury isn’t important, enthusiasm for nature is

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International volunteer program

Sisters Kate and Paige come from vastly different career backgrounds. Kate has a Masters in Environmental Ecology and a strong background in zoology and has been doing similar research for the past two years, whereas Paige is an architect and spends most of her day cooped up in an office. Kate says they are very close and Nature Seychelles’ volunteer programme on Cousin Island Special Reserve was the perfect opportunity for sister Paige to get an insight into her world and for them to have a nature adventure together.

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

03
March
2016

Cousin Island, an Island beyond unique

I am from the Seychelles Maritime Academy and I am currently doing my internship on Cousin Island Special Reserve, taking advantage of new possibilities and helping to conserve what we have. Since Monday the 8th February I have been working with Nature Seychelles. I have been taking part in several conservation tasks that the staff regularly carry out on the island, such as turtle patrols, turtle nest excavations, bird monitoring, just to name a few. The island is also open to the public for visits every week day from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm, allowing everyone the opportunity to see and photograph the different flaura and fauna.

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

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

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

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

08
June
2015

Triumphs and tragedies in paradise

A Report from Nature Seychelles' International Volunteer Program

  With no predators on Cousin Island, tourists can get very close to birds, a treat for many who visit the island

As a ‘veteran’ volunteer of Cousin Island turtle season, I have been able to witness some of the most incredible wildlife spectacles. For example, watching turtles as they emerge from the water to embark on their journey to lay their eggs, then later observing what seemed to me, millions of hatchlings scattered all over these stunning beaches as they instinctively make their way to the ocean. The knowledge that they too will one day return to the same beach to lay their eggs is mind blowing!

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

04
May
2015

Invasive species management on an island paradise

Volunteers spend a considerable amount of time controlling invasive species

Volunteers spend a considerable amount of time controlling invasive species

Cousin Island Special Reserve is a magnificent place, home to a variety of seabirds, endemic landbirds and the most important nesting site for Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Western Indian Ocean. However, much time and effort has been needed to make this a biological hotspot in the Seychelles.  

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

23
April
2015

Monitoring the next generation of Seabirds in Seychelles

 

The white or fairy tern is pure white - by Peter Chadwick

One of the many exciting volunteer tasks on Cousin Island Special Reserve is monitoring the resident breeding seabirds. During the past two months we have been monitoring the elegant white tern (Glygis alba), and the ferocious looking white-tailed tropic bird (Phaethon lepturus).

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

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