Monday, 2 May 2016

Tommy's musings and reflections on volunteering for GIF on Denis Island

Tucked away in the far north-east corner of the Seychelles Archipelago lies Denis Private Island, a tiny speck of emerald glinting in the Indian Ocean. Denis is home to some truly remarkable animals, and so, as any budding zoologist would, I jumped at the chance to spend six months working in this special place.

Monday, 25 April 2016

School of sharks at the Carnaval de Victoria!

If you were at the Carnival in Victoria last Saturday 23rd April then you surely did not miss the school of sharks swimming around, promoting and celebrating the release of the comic book "Shark Fin Soup" , the importance of sharks and giving a positive image to our friends the sharks.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Marine monitoring program: placement of fixed transects

Carrying the concrete blocks
Arjan and Jennifer who work at GIF headquarters in Mahé landed on Denis Island last Tuesday to install fixed underwater transects for the marine monitoring program. Our aim was to set out transects at 4 site location around Denis Island to standardize collection of data on the reefs over the years. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Denis Island – Part Two

Week 3 – Fairy Terns and hatchlings

The inquisitive Fairy Terns following me on my patrol
Jennifer from GIF, has flown in to assist with a Fairy Tern survey.  In a 200 sq m area we count nests, eggs, chicks, single birds, pairs of birds and also note the vegetation. We repeat this over 70 different GPS representative points across the island to establish a guide to the breeding population.  Apart from a stiff neck and a hairy caterpillar rash we finish in just over 3 days and then I input the data for later analysis.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Denis Island – Part One

Week One – Turtle and chips

The male Paradise Flycatcher `on guard` at the nest
Arjan drops me at the airport and I take the Twin Otter jet to Denis Island arriving 30 mins later. The runway is a grass strip and we land safely.  I am met off the plane by Janske and Martijn the environmental team. I met Janske on North Island so it is a warm welcome. After octopus curry we take the Island tour - totally different to North Island, this is a flat coralline island with no hills.  It also has a working farm and the whole operation is quite impressive. My room is the best so far, on this trip,  it is right on the beach and perfect for a morning dip or watching the sun go down.