Owing to the peculiar nature of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) academics have wracked their brains to beef up the management of such unique and rare ecosystems. Nature Seychelles has not been left out on this endeavour, if anything it has been one the forefront of it all.
Bruce Leslie worked on Cousin from January to March 2006 as a visiting warden from Kruger National Park in South Africa to Cousin as part of Nature Seychelles' Experience Exchange Programme (EXP) under the GEF/World Bank Project. Bruce reports on his experience on Cousin and Seychelles.
It is almost impossible to explain to someone who has never visited an oceanic island and experienced the wildlife which inhabit these amazing places what it is actually like. Most people will not actually appreciate how different continents and oceanic islands are in terms of the fauna and flora and how the natural selection processes such as predation or the lack of predation have played in shaping the endemic wildlife found on these geographically isolated areas, such as the Seychelles.
What's the crake
Little crake © Cas Eikenaar
The photograph above helped identify the small brown moorhen-like bird found by Cas Eikenaar in Cousin's wetland area in late December 2004. This is the first Little Crake (Porzana parva) recorded in Seychelles. Despite their tiny size and unlikely physique for long distance travelers, crakes and rails migrate long distances between Africa and Eurasia. Even so, for this Little Crake to have reached Cousin is some feat of navigation and endurance.
Anne Barr worked on Cousin as the visiting warden for the Experience Exchange Programme under the GEF Project from July to September 2005, reports on her Cousin island experience .
I work for the Government's advisor on nature conservation in England and have a background in protected area management. It remained to be seen how my skills would transfer to an island reserve in Seychelles.
During a seabird survey of Cousin, staff and volunteers made an exciting discovery on the rocky plateau - a baby Aldabra Giant Tortoise. Nearby, visiting warden Glenn Jackway was guiding a group of visitors. Alerted to the young torti discovery by Nature Seychelles Science Coordinator Rachel Bristol, and Seabird Researcher Lucie Faulquier, Glenn was able to treat his group to 'exclusive' views of the find.