I’ve recently accepted a unique opportunity of a lifetime to volunteer on a remote coral atoll in the South-West Indian Ocean for a period of 6-8 months. The peculiar life supported by the atoll together with its natural beauty means that it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Special Nature Reserve and a Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance.
I will be living and working alongside an international community of scientists, volunteers and staff to study organisms of high scientific value. My role will involve data processing and assisting in the monitoring of flora and fauna, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world. I’ll be carrying out basic data cleaning and performing analyses, method development, report writing, mapping and lending a hand with other tasks around camp.
Research on the Atoll: (more info can be found here http://www.sif.sc/index.php?langue=eng&rub=28)
- Aldabra tortoise monitoring
- Land bird monitoring programme
- Plant phenology monitoring
- Turtle track monitoring and tagging
- Subsistence fishing
- Tropicbird nest monitoring
I’m somewhat painting the idyllic “island” lifestyle, however topography and climate are very hostile and I will not be chilling in a hammock drinking out of a coconut. The atoll is very remote and isolated, being one of the few remaining places on the planet where humans have failed to colonise… having said that, it is to no surprise that our activities have left their mark here in the past.
The reason behind why I’m asking for your donations is due to:
- Flights rising in price (£800 +)
- Medical examinations and vaccinations have already cost me an arm and a leg (£340)
- Need to purchase field kit
The money raised will directly go towards the reasons above ^. Surplus donations will go to the Seychelles Islands Foundation to help manage and protect the two World Heritage Sites of Aldabra and Vallee de Mai.
I’m really excited and couldn’t be more grateful for being able to contribute towards the research and conservation efforts of one of the world’s most treasured places. I would like to spend my short time on this planet to further understand the intricate web of life and contribute what I can to protect it. Any contributions will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking your time to read this and I hope it has captured your interest. I will leave you with a couple links if you would like to find out more about the atoll and the organisation who manages it:
p.s. If you are interested in how the position goes I am aiming to set up a blog and I’m more than happy to keep you updated with pictures & videos permitting internet connection.
Project image - Foto Natura 2005 Copyright