Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Eden goes back to sea!

Friday 23rd December......... after over 6 months at the Wildlife Conservation & Rehabilitation Centre... the team introduces Eden back into the big ocean.

MCSS staff sees Eden off...
Sad to see him leave ....but happy that he is back is his natural habitat and healthy....

and Eden is off....
after just a few minutes in the open sea, Eden was observed feeding on some algae and he was swimming happily around readjusting to his natural habitat.

(Me)Vanessa says a final goodbye

The team members kept a close eye on Eden for some time to observe his behavior back at sea

Alex and Vanessa keeping an eye on Eden

ok..... I admit it... one of the reasons I got in the water was so I could shed some tears privately.... but Rebecca spotted me and sneaked a picture!
It is totally normal to feel emotional after caring for Eden for over 6 months and then releasing him not knowing how things will turn out for him...but I sure hope he keeps safe and makes it through a good long life!

Someone was a bit emotional!

Friday, December 16, 2016

The new team member...Lessi..

Alessia (nicknamed Lessi)
Hi there! My name is Alessia Lavigne, and I am new to the MCSS team. I have just recently finished my A-levels and have a passion for nature and conservation and would love to share my thoughts with you thus far.

My first few weeks of work was quite an exciting experience ranging from nesting sea turtles under the hot sun, to terrapin hunting in the vast wetlands of Banyan Tree Hotel. However, one of the main highlights of my MCSS adventure so far was that of rescuing 91 baby hawksbill turtles!
These turtles probably hatched during the night; the lights from the villa disoriented the hatchlings and caused them to travel up instead of down the beach. It was not until the afternoon that we received a call about sightings of a few hatchlings near the villa.
To our great surprise, many more were under the villa. Due to being out of water for so long, the poor things were weak, shriveled and exhausted. Therefore, we temporarily placed them in a pool to revitalize them as we continued our search. As we pulled some from crab holes, some from debris, and some from other nooks and crannies, before we knew it we had 91 hatchlings swimming cheerfully in the pool.

Re-hydrated & ready to head off 

Releasing the hatchlings
As sweet as they were paddling in the pool, their rightful quest lies in the arms of the ocean. It was time to set them on their journey. After collecting data about their nest and numbers, we released our new friends off the beach of Anse Intendance where it is important for them to make their own way into the sea and not to be disturbed or picked up by people. It was a sight to behold.

Wish me luck!

I admire and respect the people and colleagues I meet every day through MCSS who share the same mission to protect nature and make a difference in this world. I feel privileged to have become a part of this team and look forward for what else this career has yet to unravel.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Turtle nesting season update by Annabelle

The patrols days for the nesting turtle beaches are quite busy lately as we are now finding a lot of tracks, new nests and have more encounters. We also noticed that the first nests of the season are actually hatching and we had a few opportunities to dig the nests that already hatched in order to collect data for our database and learn more about sea turtles hatchlings behavior. 
Egg clutch survival data collection
We dug a nest last Monday that was of a great interest with a lot of information. The turtle nested on September 18th  and we can tell that the hatchlings came out 65 days later. Unfortunately we found dead hatchlings, but also intact eggs with several kinds of embryos, black, grey and white, depending of the maturation stage, and of course rotten eggs as well as eggs predated by crabs. Luckily about 135 young turtles managed to go out of the nest and hopefully went into the ocean!!  
A Black embryo
A White embryo
Another nice event was to encounter twice the same turtle, the same day, on 2 different beaches: in the morning on one beach, that she left without nesting and in the afternoon on an other one where she layed her eggs: Thanks to the photo identification software! Nina and Michael, who are volunteers from Germany, joined us last week, and were of great help during these days. They took awesome pictures and videos of our everyday work as well as for the turtle identification. Isabella and Keith, students from the Seychelles Maritime School, helped us as well: Keith especially enjoyed staying for 2 hours with a nesting turtle on a sunny beach!! Isabella was strongly interested in collecting data from a hatched nest! Thanks to the team!!
Hawksbill turtle exiting the beach

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kids from Ecole Francaise share their personal experiences from visiting the centre.....

This is a long one.... but very interesting to read through some personal experiences the kids wrote and some of them are in French..... Happy reading!!

On Tuesday, Nov.15th, the class of CM1 went to the MCSS to learn about marine turtles. First Vanessa introduced us to Chichi and Eden in the rehabilitation tanks. The quality work of the team will enable Eden , struck by a propeller, to recover and to be released in the ocean, very soon. Then, at the information center, we saw bones and eggs. After that Johnny took us to the wetland to observe and identify birds. Back to the center, we watched a complete presentation on marine turtles with Chloé. In Seychelles, we find many green and hawksbill species.

Later on, we went to the beach with Chloé and Johnny to search for tracks and turtle nests. Oh ! Surprise ! Here is one ! And another one ! We found 2 ! Annabelle explained that sometimes, we have to move the nests up the beach so that the eggs don't get drowned. What an interesting and amazing day ! Warm thanks to MCSS team from the CM1at EFS ! 

Petits articles écrits par les élèves de CE2 de l’Ecole Française des Seychelles à destination du blog de MCSS suite à notre sortie scolaire au Conservation Center du Banyan Tree le jeudi 17 novembre.
I loved it when Johnny showed us the Black Mud Turtle, the Yellow Bellied Mud Turtle, Eden and E.T. I liked Eden the most. Clement Carofano. CE2

I liked the two turtles, Eden and E.T but I’m sorry that some of the turtles died. I also saw the Grey Heron, the African Snail.  A big thank you to Johnny, Chloé and Annabelle.
I wish you all the best and I wish that I could help you.  Elynndra Hoareau. CE2

We went to see the different turtles like the Black Mud Turtle and the Yellow Bellied Mud Turtle. We also saw birds like the Chinese Bitern and the Madagascar Fody. The first bird we saw was the Grey Heron.  Ahillia Ah-kon. CE2

I loved it when Johnny showed us the Black Mud Turtle and the Yellow Bellied Mud Turtle and how to catch turtles in the traps. I had lots of fun exploring with Johnny, looking for turtle trails on the beach.
Thank you all so very much. Melle  Payet. CE2

I liked the Grey Heron, the Turtle Dove and the Madagascar Fody. I liked seeing the Grey Heron flying away. I had lots of fun with Johnny. Thank you. Azarelle Monthy.

Thank you Johnny for explaining so many things to us on our visit at Banyan Tree. I saw turtles and found birds in the trees. I liked it when Johnny took out the trap because there was fish in there and not turtles. That was funny.  Livia Dugasse. CE2

I enjoyed my visit at Banyan Tree but I wanted to see many more animals and birds there like the Seychelles Tree Frog and the Seychelles Fruit bat.
Thank you for everything. Axel Monthy. CE2.

I learned that the turtles can lay 300 or 400 eggs and the hatch in 65 days. I saw different kinds of birds like the Turtle Dove and thee Barred Ground Dove. Thank you Johnny for explaining everything so well to us. A big thank you also to Chloé and Annabelle. Kellisha Moise. CE2.

I liked the visit at Banyan Tree especially when we went on the beach to see if we could find trails of turtles in the sand. Thank you! Kiyana Bourlaisze. CE2.

Cette journée était incroyable, j’ai vu des choses que je n’avais jamais vues auparavant et j’ai appris plein de choses sur les tortues vertes, les tortues luths, à dos plats et les tortues imbriquées (comme Eden). Nous avons aussi vu différents nids d’oiseaux et des oiseaux comme des hérons, des oiseaux mouches et des Chinese Bitern. Nous avons vu des nids de tortues et des traces de tortues imbriquées. Nous avons mangé sur la plage et les garçons ont fait un château de sable. Ensuite nous avons fait une photo tous ensemble.  Adèle G-L.

Moi j’ai aimé quand Eden a nagé et aussi j’ai aimé quand on est allé à la plage. Après j’ai aimé lorsque j’ai aperçu une tortue par la fenêtre quand on était dans le bus et j’ai vu aussi une chauve-souris. Merci à tous. Yanick B.

Moi j’ai adoré quand on est allé à la plage avec Johnny, Annabelle et Chloé pour aller voir les œufs de tortue. Aaron D.

J’ai adoré quand on est allé sur la plage voir les tortues surtout Eden. J’ai aussi bien aimé voir le Grey Heron. Le pique-nique était très sympa et nous avons vu les traces des tortues imbriquées sur le sable. Raphael a vu un Mangrove Crab. Luc B.

Bonjour, j’ai fait une sortie au Banyan Tree avec ma classe, j’ai vu des différentes tortues et aussi une tortue qui s’appelait Eden qui m’a beaucoup plu. Il y avait aussi Johnny une personne qui nous a beaucoup appris et montré de différentes choses tout comme Chloé aussi, et j’ai retenu ce qu’elle nous a dit : qu’il y avait sept espèces de tortues marines dont la tortue imbriquée et la tortue verte. Et enfin il y avait Annabelle la personne sans qui nous n’aurions pas pu faire la sortie. Narwad A.

On a vu trois tortues dont une qui s’appelait Eden. Johnny nous a expliqué des choses sur les tortues. Sur la plage on a vu des œufs que Annabelle Johnny et Chloé ont couverts avec du sable. Merci. Précilia O.

J’ai vu des serpents, des tortues et des crabes et à la plage j’ai fait une maison pour les tortues.  Koka M.

J’ai aimé Eden il est trop mimi mais je n’ai pas aimé que Eden soit seul mais sinon tout était bien. Pourquoi les tortues se cachaient-elles sous les algues et pourquoi s’en servaient-elles ? Merci beaucoup Johnny Annabelle et Chloé pour cette très belle journée. Iris D.

Lors de ma visite à MCSS j’ai appris qu’il y avait deux sortes de tortues aux Seychelles, la tortue verte et la tortue imbriquée. On a appris à reconnaître les traces des tortues. La tortue verte se déplace avec les deux nageoires en même temps mais la tortue imbriquée se déplace une nageoire après l’autre. On a vu une tortue imbriquée qui s’appelle Eden parce qu’ils l’ont trouvé à Eden Island. Merci Chloé, Johnny et Annabelle. Maïa A.

Bonjour Johnny, Annabelle et Chloé, les tortues marines étaient jolies mais mes préférées étaient E.T et Eden. Michel S.

J’ai aimé le Banyan Tree et j’ai vu le Mangrove Crab et les oiseaux : un Moorhen, un Chinese Bitern et un Grey Heron et aussi une Yellow Bellied Mud Turtle. Raphael T.

J’ai aimé les poissons et les toutes petites tortues et tous les oiseaux que je n’ai pas vus mais à la plage j’ai ramassé des coquillages et j’ai beaucoup aimé lorsqu’on a fait le château de sable. Matvey Y.
Merci mille fois pour cette visite des tortues au Banyan Tree j’ai appris beaucoup de choses sur les tortues marines comme les tortues vertes, les tortues luths et les tortues à dos plat et j’ai aimé aussi lorsqu’on est parti sur la plage on a vu trois ou quatre nids de tortues et on a vu des belles sortes d’oiseaux comme le héron, la tourterelle ; on a vu aussi des chauves-souris, des escargots, un lézard, un canard et des poissons. C’était marrant lorsque Johnny a sorti la cage de l’eau et qu’il y avait un poisson dedans. Eden était marrante et E.T dans le jacuzzi.
Merci à Annabelle, Chloé et Johnny. Mahé G.

J’ai aimé notre journée parce que j’aime bien les tortues et aussi les oiseaux et ce que j’ai le plus aimé c’est la tortue imbriquée avec la façon dont elle se déplace et sa couleur. L’oiseau que j’ai le plus aimé c’est le Chinese Bitern et Johnny nous a dit que le Chinese Bitern avait très peur des humains. Ensuite nous sommes partis à la plage pour voir les traces des tortues et nous avons vu les traces de la tortue imbriquée mais elle n’avait pas pondu d’œufs. Après nous sommes allés déjeuner et nous avons fabriqué une maison pour les tortues et un château de sable, j’ai ramassé beaucoup de coquillages et Iris m’a aidé. Enfin on est reparti à l’école. Tooshav S.

and some beautiful drawings from the kids............