My name is Carmen and I am currently studying biology at the University of Freiburg. The internship at the Banyan Tree Turtle & Terrapin Project was the perfect opportunity for me to get some field experience and to figure out if I want to specialize in conservation for my masters program.
During my past 4 weeks with MCSS, I have learned a lot about the flora and fauna of the Seychelles and the conservation in general. My main project was focused on trapping and tracking the two endemic terrapin species in the surrounding wetlands of Anse Intendance to collect as much information as we can about the critically endangered yellow bellied mud turtle and the black mud turtle so that we can protect them.
Another big project I was working on was the bird monitoring program. I was collecting data about the habitats of the different species of birds and where they prefer to nest. I also figured out some new tracks for the monitoring program with the other intern Nicola so that we get a better overview of the variety of the different habitats for birds on the Seychelles.
Furthermore, I had the chance to join on some beach patrols and check for nesting sea turtles or tracks. Unfortunately, as the nesting season has just started in September I did not see a nesting sea turtle but we already found two tracks of green turtles and another one of a Hawksbill. Yesterday, we had to relocate the nest of the green turtle because it was too close to the high tide line.
|Picture 2: Nest Relocation|
The day before, we went to do a presentation at the primary school in Pointe-Larue. It was lovely to see how interested the kids were in our conservation work and that they really enjoyed our visit and got involved with us. One of our most important goals of the Banyan Tree Turtle & Terrapin Project is to teach the kids awareness to save and protect the very unique environment in the Seychelles. It is forbidden by law to keep turtles as pets since 1994 but we still have some big issues with this as well as turtle poaching.
Unfortunately, today is my last day of work with MCSS and all that remains is for me to say thank you to all the other interns and staff members that I could be part of such a great team and that you made my stay the way it was. I felt very welcomed and I am more than happy that I made the decision to do my internship here. Thanks again to everyone for such an amazing time and I hope we will meet at some point again!