Sunday, 27 July 2014

Conservation: Denis Private Island

Denis Private Island, Seychelles
Denis Private Island, Seychelles

Unexpected discovery of wedge tail shearwater seabirds on Denis Island

During a beach profile monitoring exercise recently, Gilberte Gendron, a research staff from the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) conducted training for staff working for both Denis Island and the Green Islands Foundation. GIF is an NGO which focuses on environmental research on Denis Island, several wedge tail shearwaters including chicks in a burrow of intertwined casuarina roots on the coast were found.

The shearwaters were unexpectedly discovered after the search for finding nesting green turtles by the staff produced no result. Under a big casuarina tree, a burrow had been sighted. Having a closer look through the intertwined casuarina roots, several wedge tail shearwaters, including chicks, were found! The following day another burrow was spotted a little further down the coast, again with chicks.

It has been years since a wedge tail shearwater chick had been sighted on the island and the hope had been all but lost that the old breeding colony still existed. This discovery proves that Denis Island is again home to a small breeding colony of these magnificent seabirds. 
GIF and Denis Island will do their utmost to keep protecting the burrows and minimise disturbances in the hope of future expansion of the shearwater breeding population.