Hi everyone! I’m Alvania Lawen. I’m interning with Island Conservation Society (ICS) on Silhouette Island. I am accompanied by a fellow intern Nathalia Lawen, who happens to be my twin sister. Teesha Baboorun is the ICS Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) project leader.
We arrived on Silhouette on Sunday 4th December 2016 at around 6.45PM. The day ended with a brief introduction of what we will be doing during these two weeks, what ICS does on the island and a brief history about Silhouette Island and its people. All of which will be of great use to us while carrying out our daily tasks.
ICS on Silhouette, mainly carries out terrestrial tasks. Their main responsibilities composes of raising awareness and monitoring the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat, monitoring the fish catch and turtle nesting, turtle tagging, botanical surveys, coral monitoring every six months, data entry amongst many more. Within these two weeks that we will be spending here, we will assist with these tasks.
The first work day started early at 6.30 AM on Monday 5th December 2016. While Nathalia went fish catching with the Island Development Company (IDC) workers to take the fish trap GPS points, I stayed behind to record weather. This will now be one of my daily tasks whereby I will measure the rainfall from the island rain gauge and take the temperature which usually ranges between 25 to 28 degrees Celsius.
After this, when the fishermen arrived, Teesha, Nathalia and I began to measure the fork length and weight, then identified the species of the fish. The fish trap catch monitoring is done every two days. The fish is then distributed amongst the villagers of Silhouette. The following task was to enter the weather and fish catch data into the system
Soon after, we set out to Anse Lascar and Anse Patates to monitor turtle tracks and hopefully witness nesting. During the trip, we were able to spot more than 5 turtle tracks. Then, we had to measure the width of the track to identify the size and species of the turtle, we examined the tracks to determine if the turtle had made a pit or has not. In the case that it had not, we have to investigate to determine if it was because she met an obstacle and the type of track she made. While heading back we saw a hawksbill going back to sea as there were too many obstacles to reach the beach.
That was it for the first day. It was a day filled with a lot to learn, to understand and to put into practice. In short, it was awesome. After everything that we had done and afterwards told that there would be a difference in variety during the upcoming days, it only got us thirsty for more…