My name is Beth, I currently study Marine Biology at the University of Southampton so the Banyan Tree Turtle and Terrapin Project was the perfect place for me to get some field experience. Since joining MCSS last week, I feel like I am already a true member of the team, everyone has been so friendly and welcoming.
|Picture 1: Beth and our terrapin Truck at the WCRC|
During my first week, I have been carrying out bird surveys (my favourite bird so far is the Seychelles Blue Pigeon), sea turtle patrols, daily terrapin catches and talking to members of the public informing them about what goes on at the centre whilst making descriptive tags for the exhibition room. It has been a busy first week!
On my first day, we caught 6 terrapins in one catch! We brought them all back to the centre for a health check-up where we weighed and measured all individuals. We identified them using photo-identification (to discover their unique name) and discovered one had never been caught before! I had the privilege of giving him a name, after a lot of thought I went with Buzz.
|Picture 2: Buzz|
Unfortunately it is not turtle nesting season but it is still vital to check all the beaches weekly for any signs of Hawksbill or Green turtles. I have learned a lot already about how to identify sea turtle tracks, find a nest and how to make sure she successfully lays her eggs and gets back into the ocean unharmed. I am gaining more independence in carrying out these tasks so my confidence is increasing daily. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 weeks will bring!