Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rescued and set free hatchlings, and a nesting hawksbill turtle: an amazing second day


Hi, I’m Luzia the new volunteer at MCSS. I’m 26 years old and from Switzerland. So far, I have rescued hawksbill hatchlings from the basement of a villa and set them free on the beach towards the ocean, and monitored a hawksbill turtle nesting. The nest was too close to the high water line, so we had to relocate the nest further up the beach.  As for the near future...we expect some baby sea turtles to hatch again next weekend.  Hopefully they will not get disturbed by lights and will walk straight to the sea.
Rescued Hatchlings

Help is on the way!

I also saw a lot of black mud and yellow bellied mud terrapins. We captured, marked, released... trying to estimate the population size. The knowledge about terrapins is extremely limited because there are almost no studies done about them.
But both species of terrapins on the Seychelles are classified by the IUCN as critically endangered. We captured a large female yellow bellied terrapin. Because she was so large, we did an x-ray of her. On the picture, we could see 18 eggs in her belly. 
Pregnant Terrapin X-ray

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Inka the new Volunteer!

My name is Inka and I just started my volunteering adventure around Africa. The plan is to spend the next four months volunteering in wildlife conservation in the Seychelles, Uganda and Namibia to gain valuable work experience and discover these amazing countries. First stop is with MCSS where I will be staying for one month.

Me (Inka) with Salome

On my first day we went out patrolling the southern beaches in search of turtles, tracks and nests. Unfortunately we didn’t encounter any turtles this time, they must have been chilling in the ocean, but it was great to drive around and explore the beautiful beaches and tropical vegetation. On one of the beaches, we discovered one of the existing nests had been dug up by dogs. Fourteen eggs were lost but fingers crossed the others are okay! In the afternoon we drove west to check on a few more beaches and stopped along the way to taste some local fruits. As we were looking up in search of ripe fruit, we didn’t notice the big hole on the side of the road. Turns out it was just the right size for the jeep’s front wheel.  But before we had time to panic, people were stopping by to give us a helping hand and it only took a couple of minutes before we were on the road again. A nice demonstration of the helpful and friendly nature of the Seychellois people.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure I will write another update later, hopefully after seeing some adorable hatchlings!




On the last week of December 2016, the terrapins of Banyan tree decided that they should stop by to wish us happy New Year as 12 terrapins in one day paid us a visit, breaking the record of 8 terrapins in a day.
As usual, we took our necessary data and dressed them up using nail polish (as a tagging method). The other terrapins must have wanted to dress up too for the New Year celebration as the following two days we ended up with an astonishing total of 32 terrapins! Yes, 32 terrapins in 3 days! I was surprised that we had enough nail polish to cope with the numbers.

After our wonderful visits from our little friends, Rebecca and I became inspired for a New Year resolution with terrapins in mind; we wanted to find out and experiment with new bait to add to their variety of baits and tantalize their reptilian taste buds. Hence, their updated menu involves the previous canned tuna or sardines but now includes fresh fish and escargot (snails), which have been proven to be effective. We are still trying to be creative and think about new baits they may enjoy, so if you have any ideas, feel free to drop a comment and maybe we will test it out and let you know.

We are also working on a plan with the General Manager to be able to remove some invasive species in the wetland, and for now Duck weeds and Water Hyacinth are on top of the list.

water hyacinth to be removed
Duck weed invasion!