The Seychelles, located 1000 miles off the East African coast, are not only a popular travel destination, but also home to numerous animal and plant species – the archipelago in the Indian Ocean is a biodiversity hotspot and a special, magical haven. This volunteer project dedicates itself to implementing different conservation measures in order to contribute to restoring the island’s orginal flora and protecting endangered wildlife like sea turtles and seabirds. During the project you acquire basic research skills as well as essential knowledge about species conservation and respective measures. Depending on the season, your tasks involve turtle and seabird monitoring, beach patrols, wildlife censuses and certain maintenance activities. You also gain insight into the field of ecotourism and get the chance to lead a guided tourist tour yourself.
The project starts on the first Monday of a month. During your time as a volunteer you live in a shared field house on Cousin Island together with other volunteers of the projects. The house has three bedrooms with single beds and bunk beds, a living room, a kitchen and a patio. The toilet is outside of the house; it is an ecofriendly long-drop toilet. Energy comes from solar power. Meals are not included – once a week a scheduled boat trip will go to the island of Praslin, though, where groceries can be purchased.
Your tasks depend on the season; the project’s focus is primarily on sea turtles and sea birds. The essential operation time for sea turtle monitoring is from September to March. During these months beach patrols need to be done up to six times a day. Here you note down turtle tracks, observe them until they lay eggs and leave the island, measure the animals’ carapace, count eggs when possible, identify each stage of nesting, tag in case the turtle is untagged and mark the nest site.
Sea bird monitoring takes place from February to October. Here you gather information on the health and state of marine ecosystems by helping with population and chick censuses. Moreover, seabird monitoring reveals when certain conservation measures are necessary. Other volunteer tasks include invasive plant removal, further wildlife censuses, beach profiling, beach cleaning and maintenance activities.
Key data, fees, services:
- Minimum age: 18 years
- Start dates: the first Monday of a calendar month
- Duration: 12 or 26 days
- Location: Cousin Island / Seychelles
- Accommodation: Field house (3 shared bedrooms), shared bathroom/kitchen/living room/patio, toilet outside of field house (“long drop-toilet”), self-catering (1x/week an organised supply boat trip goes to Praslin for grocery shopping)
- Language requirements: English (a good level of school English is sufficient)
- Other requirements: Physical fitness! (beach patrols for several kilometres, tropical climate)
- Suitable for: Volunteering, sabbatical
- 12 days: 850 EUR
- 26 days: 1425 EUR
- Placement in the project
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Assistance with selecting travel insurance
- Assistance with booking flights
- Pre-departure information pack
- Airport transfer
- Pre-departure information package
- Accommodation throughout the project
- Weekly supply boat trips for grocery shopping
- On-site training
- English-speaking instruction and support by long-term experienced conservationists
- 24/7 support throughout the project