On 25 July I returned to North Island on a day trip to give a brief training session to new volunteer students from the University of Seychelles. These students, Dillys Pomponeau and Krystel D’Offay, have been recruited by Arjan de Groene, General Manager of Green Islands Foundation, to continue the myna eradication until the arrival of two longer term volunteers in early August.
Bethan and Sarah have come to the end of their almost 3-month sojourn on the island, during which they have made steady progress on the myna eradication while at the same time gathering important data that will increase our knowledge of essential aspects of myna behaviour in relation to their capture during eradication programmes. In addition they have experienced life and living conditions on a tiny tropical island, and have seen at first hand the fragility of small island ecosystems and the steps being taken to protect them. They also fell in love with the giant tortoises, and were able to watch green turtles come up the beach to lay their eggs, before disappearing into their real home, the ocean.
After a brief visit to Bird Island they will return to Reading University in UK to analyse their data and write their Masters theses. We thank them for all their hard work on the island, which represents a major contribution to the removal of mynas and the threats they pose to native birds and other biota. We wish them well in their exams and look forward to hearing of their progress in whatever careers they choose. We also hope they have recovered from the return boat journey to Mahe, made in a very choppy sea and during which worry never seemed to disappear from their faces!