The Green Islands Foundation (GIF) is an environmental NGO, registered and based in Seychelles, dedicated to the "Mainstreaming of Sustainable Development". This blog has been established to keep stakeholders and interested parties informed of our ongoing activities.
Our experience on North Island for the Mynah eradication
internship was amazing. It has always been a dream to visit the astonishing
North Island, but we consider ourselves as two of the "lucky
ones" because we got to stay and call the place home rather than
just a visit.
Most people were concerned when they heard about "killing
mynas" and almost everyone had a negative response towards it. But both of
Krystel and myself have been involved in environmental activities since primary school, both
worked for a while and now at university and we can say that we have enough
background knowledge to know and understand that introduced invasive species
needs to be dealt with, plants or animals, whether they are cute or not.
Decoy Myna in the trap
How can we have the guts to do such a thing? As typical
Seychellois, most of us at some point in life have had to watch or kill a local
chicken at home for a good kari koko poul lokal. I must say that killing
a chicken is not really a pleasant thing to watch especially when the chicken
starts ruining headless. But for a myna, it is completely different, and the
method used is one of the quickest, most peaceful, less cruel, and cleanest way
without any blood or other body fluid exposed. So if you have cruelly killed a
chicken at home before, you've got this.
We were not only eradicating mynas. We were also involved in
moorhen capture-recapture as a population density measurement since they were
really interfering with our work by entering our baited traps (which we also
learned how to make) and occupy the cages that were meant to capture the
Volunteers setting up the trap
The work have helped us develop our ability to work without
supervision and this has also boost us to be more responsible since everything
was in our own hands. We were also able to observe and study the mynas and use
our own creativity to come up with new techniques to capture more mynas. This
is because mynas are very clever birds and they will get used to the catching
techniques after a while. We are using a lot of excel at university and we had
used alot for myna data entry and his has helped to practice, also to learn new
Krystel at work
I had previously worked with black parrots at the Vallee de Mai
and I already had the taste of working with birds. But Krystel had not and it
was a great opportunity for her to learn about how to hold a bird and
measurements such as wing length, head-bill length, wing molt stages and
others. Driving around the island in the gator was really exciting, but
dissection to sex the birds was the most fascinating part of the job. One most entertaining part about dissection was putting
bets on the sex of a bird caught as it is really difficult to say whether it is
a male or a female just by looking. I must say I am really good at it and never
Krystel and I have done a really good for the few weeks that we
were on the island. We were catching heaps of mynas by using traps, up to 10
mynas in one day and we felt more motivated each time we caught one knowing we
are one step further in the eradication project.
Dyllis taking measurements
It was a really fun job and we would have definitely loved to work
as a full time paid job. We would definitely love to go back during holidays,
that is only if the two new volunteers have not finished all the work since
they are really good hunters too.
Dillys and Krystel
Canned tuna used for the project are donated by Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT) Seychelles, operated by Thai Union.