Citizen science in Seychelles
Nature Seychelles has called on the public to help with improving knowledge of a unique Seychelles animal - the weird and wonderful Seychelles Chameleon.
Seychelles chameleon © J Hardcastle
'We have a special duty to protect our own representative of this amazing, but much persecuted, group of animals. If you see one, you can contact Nature Seychelles to let us know where. Remember, please do not take the animal captive, remove it from its natural habitat, or harm it in anyway. We just want to know the place you have seen the animal, how many of them and if they are seen often. It is important that you leave any Chameleon where you find it.
Teachers trainees visit
Nature Seychelles was delighted to play host to staff and students from the National Institute of Education, who visited the Environment and Education Centre in June. The group of trainee teachers were welcomed by Nirmal Shah and given an illustrated talk about the history and current work programmes of Nature Seychelles by Conor Jameson. The presentation was followed by a discussion on how environmental education is and can be integrated with different subjects in the
Terence giving a guided tour to the trainee teachers © C. Jameson
Cousin College links celebrated
An Open Day was held at the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Training College in October, and one of the most eye-catching exhibitions was created by students to raise awareness of Cousin Island. The display was coordinated by Jean-Francois Figaro and Rennick Matombe, who were 'Environmentored' on Cousin earlier in the year as trainee ecotourism guides.
Training in USA
Education Officer Terence Vel had a three-week mission to the USA in July. He was representing Seychelles conservation at a prestigious training workshop, as part of the BP Conservation Programme. This is a global partnership between the oil company and a number of leading environmental organisations.
Terence visiting one of the museums ©T. Vel
Vital research into the Sousouri Banan - the most endangered bat species in the world - received the Gold Award of the Programme 2004. The project was designed and coordinated by Nature Seychelles, and involved university students from the UK, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles. Terence's US mission is a component of the Award.
Terence joined a group of 30 conservationists from 28 countries at the Conservation Research Centre in Virginia. The Centre is managed by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The course involved a working visit to the capital and to the world's largest museum and research complex, housing an astonishing 18 museums and galleries, nine research centres, and the national zoo. The BP Conservation Programme is a partnership between BP, BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International, Conservation International and thWildlife Conservation Society.
'It was fantastic to be able to visit so many amazing museums,' Terence said afterwards. 'I learned so much about how nature, history and culture can be interpreted for the public.'