Monday, October 31, 2011

26/10/11 Curieuse highs and lows

The last week has flown by with many highs, but also a low for the volunteers on Curieuse Island; a sad reminder of the fragility of the beautiful resident turtle population. The overall high is the experience of living on this wonderful island and although conditions are basic, we feel privileged to be living here. The work has continued with us now seeing nesting turtles each time we go on our turtle walks and we will be disappointed if this does not happen each time! We have also seen them nesting on beaches which are rarely used by the turtles.

The Coco de Mer surveying is hard work, scrambling up the hillside through the invasive plum bushes and over rocks, but the sight of so many of these slow growing trees makes it worthwhile (including seeing a huge catkin!). There are still plenty more for future volunteers to record.

One unfortunate incident highlighted the plight of the sea turtle, and showed how lucky we are to have these amazing reptiles on our beaches and in our seas. During a nesting patrol, we stumbled across the remains of two hawks bill turtles on one of the islands beaches. During the nesting period, the females are very vulnerable to human impact, as they have prolonged exposed on and above the surface. With our hope and dedication, we monitor the turtle nesting activities to keep Curieuse MPA a protected area; to conserve and educate so that these hawks bills and green turtles have a safe haven to bring their offspring into the world.

With less than two weeks to go before we leave our idyllic home, there is still plenty to keep us busy; much work to do…many hills to climb…and many beaches to leave our foot prints in.