Aride Island is a Special Nature Reserve under Seychelles Law. It is the perfect place to witness wildlife spectacles. This small island rises impressively from the sea and is cloaked in rich natural woodland with a fertile coastal plateau on the south side. The palm-fringed beach, crystal clear waters and a rich coral reef complete the picture of an idyllic tropical island.
Aride is the most important bird reserve in the Seychelles. It hosts more than 500,000 pairs of ten breeding seabird species, several thousand frigate birds and five species of land bird endemic to Seychelles, including the very rare Seychelles Magpie Robin which I have deliberately reserved a whole blog to be dedicated towards it. Aride is also hosting me for two weeks whereby I am working with Island Conservation Society (ICS) as a Blue Economy Intern; a scheme organised by SYAH (SIDS Youth AIMS Hub) and funded by the British High Commission. My name is Sarah Purvis and I am 16 years of age. As an enthusiast of nature I applied for this internship and luckily got it!
A few days ago, while carrying out Fairy Tern survey with a friendly fellow called Juan Michel who is an experienced ranger that lived on Aldabra for much of his life, we were stopped in our tracks by a Lesser Noddy just dropping out of a tree and landing with a thud onto the ground which was safely carpeted with dead leaves. It had sticky seeds from a Pisonia Grandis Tree stuck all under its wings and on its head; the poor thing couldn't fly! Juan and I patiently and very gently removed all the seeds with our fingernails (an obviously painful process). Heading back Juan said that we can’t really help ALL the birds and that human interference was bad for nature when considering how many hundreds of thousands of birds Aride is home to and that maybe there is a reason for the outbreak of Pisonia Grandis seeds killing these birds. Perhaps the population needed decreasing?
Hypothetically, nature might be deliberately reducing populations of certain species.
Of course I could not say the same for endangered species such as the hawksbill turtle, it’s a different matter and conservation is vital, but then again, if it was not for human interference through poaching turtles and polluting our oceans with toxic plastics that either suffocate turtles to death or gets stuck in their digestive system and killing them, they wouldn’t have reached their current critically endangered situation.
Human interference, most of the time, has an unwanted impact on nature’s cycle. For instance, feeding birds makes them dependent on you to an extent where they lose their feeding skills and instincts, when you remove yourself from the picture they are left defenceless and unable to fend for themselves as a result they may die of starvation.
Conservation depends greatly on science but also considers human morals. Of course you would help a turtle in distress or a bird with a broken wing but we really should just let nature take its course and leave well alone. We cannot attempt to alter entire ecosystems and habitats to favour of one species. Some factors are meant to be disposed of to maintain a healthy food chain and breeding success.
Too many or too few of a certain species or interfering factors affects more than you can imagine. Not convinced? Let’s take a look at a bigger picture. Overfishing. As you might not have known, large fish such as tuna and sailfish found in deep waters tend to chase the smaller fish inland, but if we remove a large quantity of tuna with more profits and bigger sales greedily in mind, who will chase the smaller fish that we all enjoy inland towards our local fishermen? How will it affect the food chain? What will happen to the quality of life of the hardworking fisherman? And more importantly, how will affect our Blue Economy? Overfishing causes a negative feedback towards our Blue Economy because it is unsustainable which is a key factor and main focus of our "Lekonomi Ble".
Nature and everything that it is made up of, whether living or not, has existed for millions of years before without us and has done just fine. Except for some, such as dinosaurs which became extinct ....for a reason! Can you imagine humans co-inhabiting with dinosaurs soaring in the air and causing havoc on the ground? Everything happened and is happening for a reason!