News and Blogs

  1. Latest News
  2. Cousin Island News
  3. Saving Paradise Blog
  4. Green Health Blog
  5. Education Blog
  •  A lucky group of tourists witnessed as a turtle was laying her eggs - taking photos from a safe distance by Emma Jones Every year on Cousin Island we roll into another turtle season in August and we quickly find ourselves deeper and deeper in the sand as the days turn the corner to November – the height of the Hawksbill turtle season. From dawn till dusk starting in October, we keep...
  • I had the privilege of working with Dieter Oschadleus, the bird-ringing Coordinator from SAFRING (The South African Bird Ringing Unit). He came out to Cousin Island to officially register me through SAFRING based on my level of competency and ability to demonstrate a recognized level of bird ringing, mist netting and database updating.
  •  Its not all wildlife monitoring, beach profiling is conducted on a regular basis on Cousin Island What do you do when you have a long-running conservation success story on an island paradise? Nature Seychelles, a leading conservation organisation in the Western Indian Ocean region decided to share years of experience with aspiring young conservationists or people who simply want to try...
  • photo credit: allergyandair.com Nirmal Jivan Shah, The People Newspaper, 12/12/2007: Bottled water is the world’s fastest growing beverage. This means that the disposal cost of empty bottles is becoming an environmental and financial nightmare. A report from the World Watch Institute says that the energy costs of producing, bottling, packing, storing and distributing bottled...
  • (image source: www.scoopwhoop.com) Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah, The People Newspaper, 5/7/2009: Just when you thought it was safe to drink bottled water, new research shows that plastic mineral water bottles contaminate drinking water with man made compounds that act like human hormones. The study by German researchers published in the journal Environment Science and Pollution Research...
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What's On at Nature Seychelles

Conservation Boot Camp

Bootstrap your career in conservation. Whether you want to to break into conservation or bolster your experience and knowledge, join the world's first Conservation Boot Camp where you can gain a much coveted, unique and exclusive experince working in a world renowned and multiple award winning nature reserve...Read more

Find Us On ...

Focus Project

Implementing the SDGs

At Nature Seychelles we are committed to working with government, development partners and donors in implementing relevant actions, in particular, looking at certain goals where we can build on our existing strengths. Read more

Seychelles Wildlife

Natural environment of the Seychelles

Seychelles is a unique environment, which sustains a very special biodiversity. It is special for a number of different reasons. These are the oldest oceanic islands to be found anywhere...

Bird Watching

Seychelles is a paradise for birdwatchers, you can easily see the unique land birds, the important sea bird colonies, and the host of migrants and vagrants. Some sea bird...

Seychelles Black Parrot

Black Parrot or Kato Nwar in Creolee is brown-grey in colour, not truly black. Many bird experts treat it as a local form of a species found in Madagascar and...

Fairy Tern

The Fairy (or white) Tern is a beautiful bird seen on all islands in Seychelles, even islands like Mahe where they are killed by introduced rats, cats and Barn Owls....

Introduced Land Birds

A little over two hundred years ago, there were no humans living permanently in Seychelles. When settlement occurred, people naturally brought with them the animals and plants they needed to...

Native Birds

Although over 190 different species of bird have been seen on or around the central islands of Seychelles (and the number is increasing all the time), many of these are...

Migrant Shore Birds

Shallow seas and estuaries are very rich in invertebrate life. Many birds feed on the worms, crabs and shellfish in these habitats; often, they have long bills for probing sand...

Seychelles Magpie Robin

The most endangered of the endemic birds, Seychelles Magpie Robin or Pi Santez in Creole, came close to extinction in the late twentieth century; in 1970 there were only about...

Seychelles Blue Pigeon

The Seychelles Blue Pigeon or Pizon Olande in Creole, spends much of its life in the canopy of trees and eats the fruits of figs, bwa dir, ylang ylang and...

Seychelles White-eye

The Seychelles White-eye or Zwazo Linet in Creole, is rare and endemic. They may sometimes be seen in gardens and forest over 300m at La Misere, Cascade and a few...

Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher

The Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher or the Vev in Creole is endemic to Seychelles, you cannot find this bird anywhere else on earth. Although it was once widespread on...

Seychelles Sunbird

The tiny sunbird or Kolibri in Creole, is one of the few endemic species that has thrived since humans arrived in the Seychelles.

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Achievements

  • Stopped near extinctions of birds +

    Down-listing of the critically endangered Seychelles warbler from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable. Other Seychelles birds have also been saved including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Fody, and the Seychelles Paradise-flycatcher.
  • Restored whole island ecosystems +

    We transformed Cousin Island from a coconut plantation to a thriving vibrant and diverse island ecosystem. Success achieved on Cousin was replicated on other islands with similar conservation activities.
  • Championed climate change solutions +

    Nature Seychelles has risen to the climate change challenge in our region in creative ways to adapt to the inevitable changing of times.
  • Education and Awareness +

    We have been at the forefront of environmental education, particularly with schools and Wildlife clubs
  • Sustainable Tourism +

    We manage the award-winning eco-tourism programme on Cousin Island started in 1970
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Reef Rescuers Training

REEF RESCUERS TRAINING PROGRAM: PRASLIN, REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES; 29TH JUNE – 7TH AUGUST 2015

Background
Reef Rescuers is a coral reef restoration project funded by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), implemented by Nature Seychelles, a leading environmental NGO located in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. The project aims to restore coral reefs by adopting current best practice methods to test coral reef restoration at a large scale (more than 10,000 coral transplants). Based on the “reef gardening” concept, these current best practice methods, promulgated by the World Bank/GEF Coral Reef Targeted Research were used with the assistance of international experts. The first phase generated a pool of 40,000 farmed coral colonies (fragments from healthy donor colonies, or corals of opportunity –corals detached with no chance of survival) reared in underwater nurseries to transplantable size. The second phase consisted of transplanting over 25,000 nursery-grown corals onto a degraded reef. In the process, Reef Rescuers developed new techniques suitable for large scale coral reef restoration with the resources found at SIDS (Small Island Developing States). We are now offering certified training in coral reef restoration based on our experience.

         

Course description
This 6-week training program is designed for scientists, managers, practitioners, and local communities requiring a solid foundation on coral reef restoration using the coral reef gardening concept. The course curriculum requires previous knowledge of basic reef ecology, the scientific method and SCUBA diving certification.

In addition to learning how to complete a coral reef restoration project using the coral reef gardening concept, how to build mid water nurseries and how to outplant corals onto a degraded reef site, the course provides guidance on appropriate design, logistics, and evaluation of the project based on the Reef Rescuers’ experience in the Republic of Seychelles, Western Indian Ocean. Thus, the program includes practice of low-cost field tested methods as well as troubleshooting problems encountered in field conditions.

COURSE CONTENT
Week 1 
Academic sessions
-Registration and introduction
-Review of coral reef ecology concepts
-Defining coral reef restoration and coral reef gardening
-Donor site and coral species selection
-Selection of sites for reef restoration and nursery constructing
Practical sessions
-SCUBA diving skills check-up
-Coral and fish identification 
-Site selection surveys
-Donor site and species surveys

Week 2 
Academic and practical sessions
-Site demarcation 
-Net nursery construction
-Rope nursery construction

Week 3
Academic and practical sessions
-Donor fragment collection
-Nursery stocking
-Nursery maintenance
-Rope and net nursery transfer

Week 4 
Academic sessions
-Preparing for coral transplantation
-Demographic and spatial considerations for transplantation
-Methods of coral transplantation 
-Practical sessions 
-Transportation of corals to transplantation site
-Natural cleaning stations 
-Cement transplantation of individual colonies

Week 5
Academic and sessions
-Underwater survey methods
-Scientific data quality control and archiving
-Monitoring of donor, nursery-grown and translated colonies
-Resilience assessment of coral reefs
-Research project design and execution
Practical sessions
-Small-research projects design and fieldwork 
-Monitoring donor and control colonies
-Monitoring nursery colonies
-Monitoring transplantation site
-Resilience assessment of coral reefs

Week 6 
Academic sessions
-Project management
-Team selection
-Field operations
-Funding reef restoration projects
-Data analysis and reporting 
Practical sessions
-Small-research projects fieldwork
-Small-research projects presentations
-Course evaluation
-Course debriefing

Prerequisites
The course is aimed to scientists, managers, practitioners, and local communities actively working in the field of marine biology and reef conservation. Practical marine research experience, however limited, will be helpful, but is not required. SCUBA certification is required and applicants will need to meet Nature Seychelles’ standards for "temporary diver" status.

Costs
The total cost is US $2,950 for the course. The cost includes accommodation, supplies, boat trips, tanks and weights, air fills, and facility fees, but does not cover travel and meals. You should bring your own laptop and dive gear (except tanks and weights).

Instructors
Sarah Frias-Torres, PhD, Reef Rescuers Coordinator
Phanor Montoya-Maya, PhD, Reef Rescuers Technical/Scientific officer

OUR STAFF

To enroll
By April 24, 2015, send an email with “Reef Rescuers Training Program 2015” in the subject line to Dr Phanor H Montoya-Maya (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), indicating your interest (i.e. why do you want to take this course? how will you use the training in your career?) and a CV. Please specify how likely you are to participate, assuming that you will have to pay $2,950 by the end of May. The course is limited to 8 participants.

Volunteer for Hawksbill turtle monitoring

Nature Seychelles manages Cousin Island, an important breeding habitat for the Critically Endangered hawksbill turtle. A monitoring programme has been running on the island since 1970. Over the last 40 years there has been an eight fold increase in the number of nesting turtles.

While the turtle population has been slowly increasing in the Seychelles since the ban on its exploitation, the species is still at risk from different factors such as poaching, anthropogenic activities (by-catch in fisheries) or climate change. We still need to closely monitor the hawksbill population to detect early trend be it positive and negative.

Every September we take teams of volunteers to help us with the turtle monitoring.Volunteers form part of a small team of 3 or 4 undertaking regular patrols (1-2 hours) on the island for hawksbill turtles. This may involve early morning and late evening patrols. You may also have opportunity to be involved in the analysis and interpretation of the data collected. All necessary training will be provided, but preference will be given to volunteers with previous turtle monitoring experience.

Patrols will be carried out in pairs and on a rota. Free time on the island can be used to relax. There may also be the opportunity to undertake a small personal research projects. Weekends may be available for travel off the island, depending on the patrol rota.

If you would like to join one of our turtle team please visit this page on the Cousin Island Website

Join us and contribute to conservation

As a non-governmental organisation, we receive no government support for our work. We have to raise all the funds necessary to carrying out our conservation projects. You can play an important role in contributing to the success of our work by becoming a member of Nature Seychelles. In return we will keep you updated with the activities your subscription is helping to support and you will be able to take part in special events and activities organised for our members.

Download the Nature Seychelles Membership Form

Conservation Boot Camp

What is the Conservation Boot Camp?

You will get immersed in Cousin Island’s conservation work in quite a spectacular way. This place is unique and this is where the conservation boot camp happens! You will learn hands-on about conservation by contributing to the island's conservation activities. You and your team of 5 to 6 other conservation boot campers will also help to make Cousin Field Centre (where you will be staying) and the island run at its best. You will gain real-life skills of working in the environment in intense and sometimes not-so-easy conditions… boat pushes, monitoring and censuses of wildlife, come heavy rain, intense heat or high humidity levels... sometimes accompanied by mosquitoes in the forest depending on the season. (the mosquitoes here are only annoying but do not carry any diseases). You might have interaction with some endemic intruders in your building, this is cohabitation with the wildlife. 

READ THE LATEST ISSUE OF CONSERVATION BOOT CAMP MAGAZINE

What will you be doing?

You will know Cousin like the back of your hand in no time  by walking through virtually every inch of the island for during turtle nesting season, while conducting landbird and seabird monitoring; wildlife censuses, beach profiling and cleaning and invasives removal among other activities. Tagging and ringing the wildlife fauna will bring you closer to the island inhabitants. You will also take care of your place of living through different scheduled tasks. Aside from these tasks you will have the opportunity to interact with the local wardens and learn a little about Creole culture. The down time on Cousin is like no other place - pristine beaches to enjoy, unforgettable sunsets, the starriest nights unpolluted by artificial lights and other activities organised by the program coordinator. 

What will you get out of the program?

- A first hand insight into the management of a multiple award winning Nature Reserve 
- One-on-one sessions with Nature Seychelles' CEO, a world renowned successful environmentalist
- An enviable participation in an exclusive program that is sure to boost your conservation career
- Practical skills in scientific field methodology
- Intimate and constant contact with land and seabirds as well as marine and terrestrial wildlife 
- Experience of different ecosystems : coastal beach, wetlands, native forest, rocky hills and marine environment
- Opportunity to Learn and enjoy living in basic conditions and step away the materialistic world for a while
- Exchange with international students, experienced conservation staff, and global researchers frequenting the island regulary
- A Certificate of participation (Nature Seychelles is a certified private educational and training institute under the Education Act of Seychelles)
- A much-coveted opportunity to work in a world class dream destination, you will get to work in one of Seychelles' paradise Islands. 

Cost: 1000 euros for a 4 week period

READ THE LATEST ISSUE OF CONSERVATION BOOT CAMP MAGAZINE

 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY or CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE HANDBOOK

CLICK HERE TO APPLY or CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE HANDBOOK

 

 

Partners & Awards

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Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager

Facebook: http://goo.gl/Q9lXM

Roche Caiman, Mahe

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 4601100

Fax: + 248 4601102

Email: nature@seychelles.net