It was December in Canada when I heard help was needed on Cousin Island’s Special Reserve. I hadn’t even heard of the Seychelles but I packed my things and hopped on a plane without expectations. A few planes, trains and countries later, I landed in paradise.
The Seychelles island of Assumption(Source: SNA photo by J van de Crommenacker)
The Aldbara group including waters around Assumption island will be designated as protected areas by February 2019, under a process called the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) Initiative. Another area to also be protected is the Amirantes groups. The Aldabra Group and is being nominated for ‘Marine National Park’ and is described by the Marine Spatial Plan as a High Biodiversity Protection. (Source SNA). This area is now the target of bitter protests.
A lucky group of tourists witnessed as a turtle was laying her eggs - taking photos from a safe distance by Emma Jones
Every year on Cousin Island we roll into another turtle season in August and we quickly find ourselves deeper and deeper in the sand as the days turn the corner to November – the height of the Hawksbill turtle season. From dawn till dusk starting in October, we keep our eyes peeled for turtle tracks to or from the beach and turtles approaching the beach or heading back to sea.
I had the privilege of working with Dieter Oschadleus, the bird-ringing Coordinator from SAFRING (The South African Bird Ringing Unit). He came out to Cousin Island to officially register me through SAFRING based on my level of competency and ability to demonstrate a recognized level of bird ringing, mist netting and database updating.