Understanding the Age of Extinction
We are living through a biodiversity crisis, or what scientists are calling the ‘sixth mass extinction’, as around 1 million species face extinction, many within decades.
May 7th 2021
I had an incredible experience volunteering for the Blue Lagoon Coral Reef project in Mauritius, and really learnt to appreciate how they aim to protect the marine environment. As I study Marine Biology, working here for three weeks really gave me the hands-on experience I have been so excited to get into. I am really passionate about working with turtles and corals, and here, from day one we were taught the importance’s of protecting this unique environment.
My favourite part of working here was the turtle monitoring. On the first day I was taken out with a group of volunteers, who were just as passionate as myself, to observe and spot turtle’s whereabouts in the Lagoon. This information could be used to estimate the turtle population and number of resident turtles in the bay.
The locals were really friendly and this really added to my experience. I made loads of friends that I still talk to from all around the world. It was my first time travelling alone, but arriving at the house on the first night really put me at ease. As I was introduced to everyone staying in the house and to a few members of staff, and knew I would fit in straight away.
The work that the project is doing is really important on the island. Many locals still don’t appreciate the incredible biodiversity they have, but the project is really helping in the community to protect these environments and to educate people on little things that they can do to help.
Some of the activities I took part in were: turtle monitoring, coral conservation, mangrove monitoring and conservation, getting locals to sign petitions, beach cleans and coral health monitoring. All of this was so important and I am glad I got to be a part of this!
I would definitely return for longer as I enjoyed my stay so much and really felt like I made an impact, as did all the other volunteers that I worked with. I would recommend this to anyone who is passionate about the environment and who wants to contribute. Mauritius is a beautiful place with so much to see and has a really laid-back way of life. Can’t wait to go back!
Written by previous volunteer, Sarah Eustace