Having worked with two types of sea turtles, during multiple turtle nesting seasons in 2 different countries I am still sometimes surprised by how different and exciting each day can be when you are around these animals. One of the best things about the Hawksbill turtles that nest in Seychelles is the fact that they come up during the day; a very rare phenomenon among turtles.
Although Nature Seychelles' underwater coral nursery in the Marine Park by Felicité Island is located close to the shore, bad weather and rough sea conditions can make a shore dive impossible. During rainy days, our Reef Rescuers depend on the boat to complete tasks related to the nursery cleaning, monitoring of the donor site and survey of potential transplantation site.
This is my third time on Cousin Island during turtle season. You would think that after spending so much time watching turtles nesting I will have seen most of what there is to see but no, every time I come, there is always something new, something I haven’t witnessed before.
This is my first time to Cousin Island as a helper during the hectic turtle season. Although I had no idea what I was walking into, the hawksbill turtles have most definitely exceeded my expectations. During my first month here I had two turtles come on to the beach at the same time time to lay their eggs. They both made their way up the beach into the vegetation near the path. The bigger of the two started digging immediately and without hesitation started laying quite quickly.
Spreading from the western Pacific, the lethal heat wave associated to the 2015/17 El Niño hit the western Indian Ocean around February 2016. Here in the Seychelles, the water temperature averaged 30°C for four consecutive months, peaking over 31°C on some days!
Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team was recently invited to collaborate with the Island Resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon and conduct a feasibility assessment. The main objective of this survey was to see if we could implement a Coral Garden Project within the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Félicité Island.
Scarring and sheeting of nursery grown corals are among the first steps towards successful rearing. The scaring process - depending on the growth structure and type of coral - can take anywhere from two weeks to a month and a half.
In a recently published study by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and McGill University, eating sea turtle eggs could be greatly detrimental to human health owing to the high presence of heavy metals in the eggs. Great news for sea turtles and conservationists protecting these species, but not so for the people of Panama.
Like Cousin Island Special Reserve which is managed by Nature Seychelles, many nature reserves protected under law provide a safe haven for many marine and terrestrial wildlife from human activities such as fishing, poaching, development, pollution and so forth.
On 16th April 2016, Nature Seychelles will partner with SYAH-Seychelles (SIDS Youth AIMS Hub) in a beach clean-up on Cousin Island Special Reserve as part of the Marine Debris Challenge, an initiative of Australian based organisation, Positive Change for Marine Life Association.