A week on a magical island paradise

 I arrived as the sun was about to set, silhouetting the island in a deep orange glow, arriving on the last boat with Cousin Island wardens bringing supplies back from neighbouring Praslin Island

I was prepared, in terms of equipment at least, for the trials of tropical island life on Cousin Island Special Reserve. Coming from the western part of Scotland, mosquito nets, sun cream, and turtle ID charts are usually not part of my packing list. But having read what to expect, I was ready!

Categories: Conservation, Research, Nature People


Ecotourism: conservation comes first

 Tourists are picked up from their boats and brought to land on specially made Cousin boats

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity as named by the United Nations, in order to elevate biodiversity-related issues with this year’s theme as ‘biodiversity and sustainable tourism’.

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


What the turtle are you doing on my beach?

A report from Nature Seychelles' International Volunteer Program


The Critically Endangered Hawksbill turtle is an amazing and beautiful animal that comes to nest on Cousin Island Special Reserve in the Seychelles, one of the most important breeding sites for these turtles in the region.

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


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


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


Translocation of the fregrate warbler

Report on the translocation of the Seychelles warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis to establish a new population on Frégate Island, Seychelles, published in Conservation Evidence

Report Summary: In December 2011, 59 adult Seychelles warblers Acrocephalus sechellensis were translocated between two islands in the Seychelles. Birds were captured on Cousin Island and translocated to Frégate Island using a hard release method, with minimum time in captivity. Frégate had been previously identified as a suitable host for a substantial population of Seychelles warblers, although the presence of the species had never been confirmed on this island.


Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds, Wildlife


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


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


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


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


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


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


Stowaways in our traps

Fish researchers catch more than fish


Recently, I have been fortunate enough to join team of dedicated researchers investigating the habitats and migratory movements of  commercially valuable fish species within the Marine Protected Area of Cousin Island.

As a part of our daily activities, we have been using two bamboo fishing traps to collect members of the target species for tagging and release to track their range of movement during the spawning season. Naturally, we are unable to limit the fish that enter our trap to just those in the target species so we have had a collection of other species, which are released back into the ocean where they were caught. 

Categories: Research, Marine


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


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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