Articles tagged with: research

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

20
November
2013

Stowaways in our traps

Fish researchers catch more than fish

Untarget-species

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

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

26
June
2013

Ring-Around-A-Magpie

rings

“Just another day in the office”, I think to myself as I sit crouched under some low ferns, brushing termites and dirt from my hands, whistling a simple bird call, slapping mosquitoes, and sipping from my water bottle to beat the heat. I gently grip the end of a long, thin, “transparent” piece of fishing line in my fingers while I peak through a slight gap in the dense fern cover at my partner who is similarly positioned about 10 meters away. His hand is all that is visible to me while I sit hidden from view of a small spring trap. When his hand gives the signal, I pull with all my might and hope that the little piece of wood propping open the trap comes out swiftly and triggers the spring. I can’t help but think this all feels vaguely reminiscent of an old trick my grandfather used to play on us kiddies at family gatherings during the summer.

Categories: Research, Birds

16
May
2013

Ambitious marine monitoring bags 100 surveys

marine_monitoring

This past week the Nature Seychelles staff of Cousin Island were hard at work completing an ambitious marine monitoring project. We began the week by acknowledging that the plan we set out would take a solid team effort to achieve. Everyone based on Cousin was involved, providing boat skipping, diving, and support, as well as the Reef Rescuer team based on Praslin, who supplied necessary equipment. The team entered this week of bi-annual reef monitoring with excitement to get underwater and determination to complete the data collection in the allocated period. It proved to be a successful week as five divers jumped right into the work with enthusiasm. The island’s science officer along with two marine research assistants and two of the Cousin Island wardens completed over 100 surveys at three different sites around Cousin island in just six dives!

Categories: Marine