A group of participants who had followed training on basic theories of catching and ringing birds were able to put into practice what they had learnt through a field trip on Conception Island, located 1.6 km from Port Glaud, this week.
The field trip of four days was an opportunity for the participants to be up close to birds, especially the rare and endemic Seychelles White-Eyes, which, according to a census of 2014, has at least 250 individuals on the island.
During the field trip, the nine participants, which hails from different environment oriented organisations, followed a rigorous and busy schedule that required surveying the whole island to assess the population of ‘zwazo linet’.
This is the second phase of a training which started on Aride Island late last year where the first group of participants were introduced to bird ringing and the techniques of studying birds.
“Had I not been part of the training on Aride, I would not have been able to put up mist nests, ring birds and finally collect information that is required in a bird survey,” states Dorah Radegonde, a conservation ranger of La Digue.
The activity is also part of a larger project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) which is also aimed at creating awareness on critical ecosystem and species of Seychelles amongst other countries in the Western Indian Ocean.
“It was important that those involved with conservation of birds learn more about the theories surrounding avian species and the different techniques used for monitoring their population before they can start manipulating and collecting any information about them,” says Abel Sorry, the Biologist Project Officer of the Island Biodiversity and Conservation Centre,(IBC), of the University of Seychelles.
The training has been supported by the Southern African bird ringing scheme, SAFRING and which paves the way for the participants to acquire a bird ringing license as well as have access to global database of various bird species.
Bird ringing has been practised in Seychelles for a number of years.
Similar to an identification card, the metallic rings can provide information such as movements, population dynamics of a species such as longevity and sex ratio) as well as their ecology and behaviour.
Contributed by the Island Biodiversity and Conservation Centre,(IBC), University of Seychelles