I officially joined the MCSS Banyan Tree team on Monday 5th October, so I’ve now got a full 5 days worth of work experience in the conservation of mud terrapins and turtles under my rather thin belt. From the onset I should point out that I have never learnt and tried out as many new things as we’ve managed to squeeze into that single week. And the best part of it all is that it has been so much fun. This gets me thinking … Lynn why didn’t you get into this a lot sooner?
|Being introduced to 'Project'|
I had come in for 2 days prior to being employed by the MCSS where I got to do beach patrol and beach profiling with Vanessa. Believe it or not, despite living in the area for many years, I hadn’t been to most of the beaches we went to. I’m so glad and thankful that I got the opportunity to not only go to those beaches but to also look at them from the perspective of a marine conservationist.
|Meeting and weighing 'Tim/Pingu'|
Back to my exciting new job … Wednesday was epic. I got to x-ray a black mud terrapin. That was my very first time x-raying anything to be
honest. It was surreal. We named our patient Tim, thinking he was a
newcomer only to discover later that he had been previously encountered and had
even been given a name. Tim turned out to be Pingu! And how did we find that
out? Thanks to the seemingly robust catalogue the Centre is compiling. Imogen
thought it would be fun to test me at using the catalogue, and … drum roll
please … I aced it … managed to identify Pingu’s plastron from over 30 picture
IDs. Later on in the afternoon I was given the honor of releasing Pingu back
into the wild after we had processed him and to my utter dismay … he didn’t
even look back to let me know he was going to miss me! But to be fair, he had
lingered a little before dashing off. I’d like to think that this meant that he
was reluctant to leave me.
|Learning about x-rays|
|Training about turtles- with Vanessa and new volunteer Mary|
My beach patrols are yet to result in an actual sighting of a turtle coming up the beach to nest, but I have experienced the buzz of spotting 2 nests. I know that that feeling does not compare to the ecstasy of seeing my first nesting turtle. I’m getting all excited just thinking about it. It’s about to get a whole lot more interesting around here!