About the Island Conservation Project
Volunteers will be working with a leading conservation NGO from the Seychelles with a global reputation for conservation and environmental protection. They have been instrumental in projects rescuing endangered species, such as the Seychelles warbler and Seychelles paradise flycatcher, and in habitat restoration. Their conservation expertise is enhanced by a strong science and monitoring programme, while the work also supports local people’s livelihoods and their communities.
The Seychelles Island Conservation Volunteer Programme takes place the whole year on Cousin Island with the possibility to volunteer for 2-4 weeks. The tasks vary depending on what time of year you would be joining the programme. You could be engaged with:
- Hawksbill sea turtle management including tagging and nesting monitoring (October to mid-March)
- Monitoring large seabird colonies and land bird populations, studying the breeding success as well as recording behavioural data and bird ringing (February to October)
- Habitat conservation by removal of invasive species and planting of native plants and trees (all year)
- Census of tortoises (July to mid-September), land birds (April), sea birds (Nov, Feb and April), skinks and geckos (June)
There will also be data entry and organisation, as this is an integral part of all monitoring and survey work. Aside from this, volunteers will be involved in the day-to-day running of the island such as maintaining the pathways, pumping water and helping the reserve wardens with boats during the weekdays when tourists come for guided tours. Volunteers will thus also be part of guiding tourists and tell them about the conservation work done on the island to create further awareness. These are among the all-year activities that also include beach profiling, clean-ups and invertebrate pitfall sampling efforts.
The normal working hours out of turtle season are from 5-7 hours daily during week days. During turtle season, it can reach 9 hours of work daily with one day off including weekends. Volunteers can spend a weekend off the island (at their own expense) if one volunteers outside turtle season. In-field training will be given for sensitive work such as seabird and turtle monitoring.
As an Island conservation volunteer in the Seychelles, one will be assigned a monthly project contributing to the improvement of the island management. This project will be agreed by the team, the programme coordinator, conservation officer and the chief warden. It can be related to waste management, energy consumption, logistic facilities, security improvement or even scientific contribution. The planning/research/set up/application/report will be finalised by the group of volunteers within the month, if possible. The work and results will be published online when completed. Volunteers will be awarded a Certificate of Completion at the end of their stay.
The Seychelles Island Conservation programme is located in a natural reserve, and thus volunteers need to act accordingly. There are rules to be followed on the island and not adhering to them might cut your stay short. Joining as a volunteer on this programme, you will be able to have a rare conservation experience on a remote island in the Indian Ocean where endemic wildlife roam. Volunteers should thus have a strong motivation to join, and be willing to put in the effort required to do the work. Volunteers should be minimum 18 years and an independent person with the ability to work in hard conditions with a positive attitude. As volunteers are required to do a team project, they should also have experience in team work.
“On Cousin Island, we are preparing the next generation of conservationists. Volunteers will not only contribute actively to conservation here in the Seychelles. They learn important skills and then continue the work for wildlife populations wherever they go next. Volunteers thus become ambassadors of wildlife by being part of the important skill sharing that is needed in the conservationist community. All to keep our environment, wildlife and in some cases local communities protected for future generations.” – Project Manager in the Seychelles