I am Nadine from Germany and I am currently doing an internship as part of my master’s degree in marine biology with MCSS in their terrapin and turtle monitoring program on the Seychelles.
I wanted to intern here so I could get hands-on experience on working with turtles and also to get to know the work that a conservation NGO does. Also, the Seychelles have been on my bucket list for some time now!
And so far, it’s been amazing! I get to experience new things every day and I even have the possibility to come up with my own project ideas that I can try out at work, such as waste patrolling and beach mapping.
My best experience so far was the release of Tiko, our hawksbill turtle. Formerly a pet, we had him in a tank for a few weeks for rehab and to prep him for the ocean. We snorkelled after him for a little while to make sure he was able to cope with the currents.
A few weeks ago, we also excavated the last nest of the sea turtle season – it took a while until we found it, it was burrowed pretty deep in the sand. There were about 200 eggshells and we can assume most of the little hatchlings made it safely out to the sea.Also, I really enjoy taking part in the long-term terrapin trapping program. Each day, we go out and check the traps for terrapins, then we measure, mark and release them again. This helps us getting a good overview of the population and movements. Sometimes we also get babies! Two terrapins are long-term residents at the centre, Chichi and Seal – we keep them in old Jacuzzis that the Banyan Tree Resort donated to us.
A couple of weeks ago, we got four new Aldabra giant tortoises from a guesthouse. We have six in total now, and they seem to get along really well. It’s funny to see how fast they can walk towards you if they are curious. They mostly feed on fruit and vegetables.