Travel to Curieuse Island and join one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in the Seychelles. Take part in critical research and conservation research within a national park and help support the creation of conservation policies.
Live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world as you work with endemic flora and fauna while also contributing towards the long-term survival of endangered species.
On this expedition, you will focus on several key conservation efforts within and around the Curieuse Island National Park which may include the following:
- Lemon Shark Project – We are conducting a capture, release and recapture study of the lemon shark population using P.I.T. (Passive integrated transmitters) tags. Peak shark tagging season in September to March, far less activity outside of that time.
- Coco de Mer Survey – The endemic Coco de Mer has the largest seed of all living plants and is found only on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse. Census work is carried out year round, but more effort is expended during the months of April to September.
- Mangrove Distribution Surveys – Curieuse Island has one of the largest remaining area of mangrove forest left within the Seychelles inner granitic islands. We are investigating seedling recruitment and mortality and further determining species distribution across the mangroves. Mangrove surveys are conducted in February and August.
- Giant Tortoise Census – We conduct an annual census of the giant tortoise population and record key measurements on growth and distribution. The tortoise census is conducted primarily during the months of April to September.
- Hawksbill Turtle Surveys – We conduct year round, weekly patrols of the beaches, recording data on nesting turtles and tagging females, also monitoring the beaches for signs of nesting activity, and marking nests when we locate them. The peak hawksbill season runs from September to March, although some nest excavations usually continue into April.
- Beach Profiling – Our beach profiling studies monitor changes in beach width, slope and area throughout the year, and contributes to a long-term dataset discribing annual changes in our beaches.
- Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) Surveys -We are conducting BRUV surveys to assess the populations of carnivorous and fish species along the remote north shore of Curieuse Island. BRUVS are conducted throughout April and May.
Throughout the year volunteers may also have opportunities to participate in an array of other projects developed by interns participating in our program.
The Curieuse program is a very rewarding but physically challenging experience. All the survey locations are accessed by hiking on or off trail, often to very remote parts of the island. There are rough rocky tourist trails, steep in places, which are used for some of the closer hikes, e.g. turtle surveys on the south coast (1.5km return trip), mangrove surveys (2.5km), tortoises at the Ranger Station (3.5km), and most surveys are conducted in the full tropical sun.
The longest hike is to Grand Anse (5km return trip), several km of which are off trail on difficult terrain. The most physically demanding survey is Coco de Mer, whilst not the greatest distance (3.5km), the entire survey area is located on a remote, steep, rocky hillside and equipment is carried by hand.
Participants will generally conduct two surveys per day, returning to base for lunch, although some of the longer ones may stay out all day.
You may choose to take part in this program for either 2, 4, 6, 8 or 12 weeks. Please contact us for more details.