Thursday, October 13, 2016

The maritime students share their experience so far

For our first day of work attachment at MCSS, we had a familiarization with the staff and the centre itself. We started the day with a turtle patrol on nine different beaches and also got the chance to see a turtle at Anse Corail, it was digging its hole for it to nest but unfortunately the area wasn’t suitable due to Coconut roots in the ground and the turtle went back to sea. Before it got back in the water, we measured its shell and took pictures of both sides of its face for identification.
happy to be observing a turtle!
monitoring the beach
Back at the centre we x-rayed three female terrapins to see if there are no eggs inside, then we measured and weighed one, Celeste painted it for identification. Pictures of the plastron and shell were taken for identification, we had to look through the system to see if it had been caught before and it did, its name is SATAN.
During the course of the week we learned many things, we fed Eden the turtle, cleaned its 
tank and doing trips to the beach to get sea water to fill up its tank. We learned about trapping, a method used to catch terrapins using mackerel as bait, we set them up in different wetland areas. We also cleaned the terrapin’s tanks were we keep them for a while when we catch them, before releasing them again back where they were found.

We also did some bird survey and more turtle patrols; we had a turtle at intendance beach Thursday morning. It had already laid its eggs when we got there and it was in its covering stage, we measured the tracks and also the turtle. We saw that it had been tagged and we recorded it but we took pictures to identify it, it was very exciting.

restraining for measurements and ID pictures

Following the turtle project leader Vanessa

Terrapin Bloom

At the end of September 2016 we got a call from a Lady saying that she found a terrapin on the beach!! Which we found weird because they are usually supposed to be in wetlands, so Jonatan my colleague and I went to Anse Boileau to pick up the terrapin at the lady’s place, as we got there we noticed that it was a yellow bellied terrapin, a critically endangered species, we were so happy about that. Now we have the terrapin here with us at the Wildlife Conservavtion & Rehabilitation Center for observation. So far the yellow bellied terrapin is doing fine, we even named it Viki!
Myself (Rebecca) & Jonatan.... selfie time!

Introducing Viki!

Lately in the South we have been intensifying our terrapin tracking by putting 20 traps in the wetlands instead of 3 like we used to do. So far it has been some successful as well as tiring couple weeks since we have been getting a lot more terrapins than usual. Great news is that we have been getting about 9 Yellow Bellied terrapin, which they are usually rare to find and catch. Upon capture,data is collected from each individual then they are released back at the capture site if they are observed to be healthy.

Can you spot the terrapin?

Yesterday was 'work out day'! Basically this is when the team gets together for a few trips at the beach collecting sea water to refill Eden's tank (our little Hawksbill patient). It's all about physique, walking up and down the beach carrying  30litres containers of sea water..... but we do it all in the name of conservation...and Eden is always very happy to have a refill!

The hard work paid off....Eden is happy!