Farewell to the ‘Turtle Rush Hour’ and to our volunteers

The 2023-24 turtle season on Cousin Island Special Reserve has ended. There haven't been any sightings of Hawksbill turtles coming up to nest for several weeks now, according to the turtle team.


The island bid a fond farewell to the volunteers

“With only 6 turtle nests left to be excavated to check for hatching success, we have officially said goodbye to this nesting season,” says Chris Tagg, Cousin Island conservation manager.

It was a busy season with hundreds of nests being laid. A total of 20 nests were relocated to safe locations due to erosion and 120 excavations were conducted to check for hatching success. But thanks to a fantastic team of volunteers from around the world, the Cousin Island team had enough assistance to carry out all activities.

Volunteers are essential for our turtle season. Without them, we would not be able to collect the data we do. With so many turtles to process, the work hours can be long, the sun can be very hot, and no season is complete without a turtle in distress. Having them here certainly keeps us calm during our turtle rush hour," Tagg says.

At the end of the season, the island team also bid a fond farewell to these incredible volunteers who have been helping since the season started. They dedicated their time and energy to collecting vital data for monitoring and supporting sea turtle conservation.

20 nests were relocated to safe locations

20 nests were relocated to safe locations

“All of them were eager to help and maintained a positive attitude throughout. It was gratifying to see them develop confidence in their fieldwork skills. Additionally, seeing conservation in action increases advocacy for marine animals. It allows people to reassess how we shape our environment," he explains.

Tatiani Sampaio, who joined the team from Brazil, says volunteering has been profoundly enriching for her. “It has opened my eyes to the critical importance of conservation efforts particularly those safeguarding endangered marine turtles. Through hands-on work, including patrols around the island, monitoring turtles, collecting data, and observing hatchlings, I have developed a deep appreciation for these special animals. I have gained insights into the challenges facing these beautiful creatures and into their delicate ecosystem,” she says.

Climate change effects are evident through erosion

Climate change effects are evident through erosion

“One of the most shocking aspects of my experience is witnessing the impact of human actions on nature,” she continues.

“Every day on my patrol I collected countless plastic bottles, fishing debris, and other rubbish washed ashore.”

"Additionally, I saw the effects of climate change through erosion, which was a significant threat to most of the nests we monitored. The whole ecosystem was affected by this, as trees falling destroyed birds' nests as well."

Consequently, she said she was inspired by island conservationists.

“I witnessed their dedication, which is truly remarkable. They tirelessly work to protect marine turtles and other wildlife on the Island while also raising awareness among tourists.”
“They have motivated me to become more actively engaged in conservation initiatives and I am thankful for this unique opportunity that has been truly transformative. It will undoubtedly change my actions and choices towards being more responsible for the environment. I hope to encourage others to protect our planet’s precious natural heritage.”

We conclude on a positive note. Here is to the next season!

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager

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Roche Caiman, Mahe


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Centre for Environment & Education

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Email: nature@seychelles.net