On this expedition, you will focus on several key conservation efforts within and around the Curieuse Marine 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 Transponder) tags. Peak shark tagging season in September to January, far less activity outside of that time.
- Hawksbill Turtle Surveys: we conduct year-round, weekly patrols of the beaches, recording data on nesting turtles and tagging females, 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.
- Mangrove Distribution Surveys: Curieuse Island has one of the largest remaining areas of mangrove forest left within the Seychelles inner granitic islands. The program in Seychelles Curieuse is 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 free-ranging tortoise census is conducted during the months of April to September, but monitoring of captive juveniles year-round.
- Beach Profiling: our beach profiling studies monitor changes in beach width, slope and area annually in July and August, and contribute to a long-term data set describing annual changes in our beaches.
- Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) Surveys: we are conducting BRUV surveys to assess the populations of carnivorous and scavenging fish species along the remote north shore of Curieuse Island. BRUVs are conducted throughout April and May.
- Rat Eradication Project: we are conducting an experimental eradication of the invasive rat population in a two-hectare area of forest to allow recovery and recolonisation of native species, this is a year-round project. Throughout the year volunteers may also have opportunities to participate in an array of other projects developed by interns participating in our program.