Volunteering

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

16
April
2015

Shark Tales from Cousin Island

One of the best things about volunteering on Cousin Island Special Reserve is to snorkel in a marine protected area. Although a lot of the coral is dead due to the El Niño, there is still an amazing array of marine life, from the beautiful tropical fishes to the graceful hawksbill turtles. My favorite animals in the sea are the sharks.

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

18
November
2014

Elegance is overrated

photo by Martijn Hammers

Grace and elegance are two words that I generally wouldn’t associate with myself. Bish, bash, bosh is a more accurate description of my approach to life. The finesse may not always be there, but the job gets done. I’m efficient, but I’ll get dirt under my fingernails and probably spill something down my T-shirt in the process.

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

07
October
2014

Volunteering on Cousin: Expectations vs Reality

Visitors arriving on Cousin Island

Before arriving on Cousin, my own expectations regarding the island and life as a volunteer were largely informed by both the Nature Seychelles website and the volunteer handbook, which in combination provide everything a prospective volunteer needs to know, from the moment they apply and start packing, right up until leaving the island. However, even with all this information on what I might expect from my time here, my experience so far has shown me that not everything was exactly as I had imagined it would be.

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

25
September
2014

Fantastic opening to turtle season

 

The first Hawksbill turtles of the season have landed on Cousin for nesting. On our very first turtle beach patrol on the 2nd of September, we discovered the relatively fresh tracks of a nesting female but were sadly too late to encounter the turtle herself.

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

08
September
2014

Diary of a seychelles magpie robin

The Seychelles Magpie Robin is one the most popular and charismatic birds found on Cousin Island. It also heralds another of the Seychelles great conservation success stories.

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

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

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

30
July
2014

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

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

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