Dyllis Pomponeau and Krystel D’Offay, students at the University of Seychelles, volunteered to spend a month on North Island to participate in the myna eradication project. They were recruited by Arjan de Groene, General Manager of Green Islands Foundation (GIF), the NGO administering the project, of which the practical operation is being led by WildWings Bird Management. The students’ contribution was vital, maintaining the impetus of the project during an interval between the departure of the Reading University students and the arrival of the next long-term volunteers, Maxine Little and Jeremy Waters. The Unisey students quickly and enthusiastically assimilated the skills needed for the work. In addition to undertaking the routine work, they became invaluable contributors, injecting ideas and getting a real feel for the importance of the work and an eagerness to see its completion, for the benefit of the island and also for some of Seychelles’ endemic wildlife, especially endemic birds.
They thoroughly enjoyed their time on the island and have written an account of their activities for GIF, posted on the GIF blog: https://greenislandsfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/myna-eradication-internship-on-north.html
This is a good read and their enthusiasm shines through it. The participation of Seychelles students is strongly welcomed. Much environmental work in Seychelles is undertaken by expatriates but it is good to know that some young Seychellois are so enthusiastic about the environments on their islands and are so keen to get involved with practical management to improve the prospects of their native wildlife.
Enjoy the students’ account, and hopefully they will stimulate other Seychellois to become active conservation managers and researchers!