After a very long gestation period, my book “Orange omelettes and dusky wanderers” has now been published by Calusa Bay Publications, Seychelles. It describes my experiences in Seychelles from late 1971 to the present. Based around the biology of my beloved Sooty Terns, it also embraces other areas of conservation in Seychelles, illustrating the leading role that Seychelles is playing in the conservation of a wide range of endemic and indigenous island wildlife. This is set against a background of economic development (which can also have negative environmental impacts), improvement in human social wellbeing (housing, water, sanitation, health and education), permitted by easier access to the outside world, inward investment, and the progress of the two major foreign income generators: tourism and commercial fishing.
Accounts of travel among the islands, including the central granitic islands and many of the remote outer islands with difficult and sometimes hair-raising access, are described, linking where possible their current state with various forms of exploitation in the past. This “past” is short, however – the time that has elapsed since the first human settlement is a mere two-and-a-half centuries! But this time has been sufficient for man to inflict huge changes to the ecology of many islands and some of the changes may take centuries to ameliorate. All conservation and island rehabilitation efforts come into conflict at some state with perceived development needs, which continue to proceed apace, but as more Seychellois become aware of their unique environments through education and experience there is room for optimism, with current conservation successes illustrating clearly what might be achievable.
The book is available from http://www.nhbs.com and will shortly be available in Seychelles.