The children of The Children's House Montessori Primary School at Bel Air, aptly named the “Green Room Kids” took a fabulous field trip to Silhouette on 28 February as part of their Knowledge of the World curriculum. Our ICS Conservation Team welcomed eighteen young ecowarriors aged 5 – 9 years old and their teachers for a day of immersion in the wonders of the National Park and the ICS Conservation Centre. Activities such as hikes and turtle nesting simulations brought alive for the children the abundance and accessibility of Nature on Silhouette, and ingrained in them a feeling for loving and protecting our wild spaces.
The day was filled with many new experiences. For most of the children and some teachers it was their first ever visit to Silhouette, giving the trip a mythical quality. A bumpy ferry ride on the way across from Bel Ombre heightened everyone’s senses. Once on the island in the safe hands of ICS Conservation Team of Francois, Teesha, Said and Dominique, the children became at one with their environment, curious and eager to learn and explore. They were captivated by the variety of wildlife seen and heard whilst hiking through peaceful wetlands and lush native forest. They were enthralled to tread (lightly) over volcanic lava and through “swishy” grass taller than themselves.
A beach turtle tagging simulation prompted many thoughtful questions and wonderings. Simply swimming and playing in the ocean and watching lemon shark pups in the shallows proved to be big experiences for little spirits. The children enjoyed their day immensely and have extended their learning back in the classroom, with journals, drawings and letters. It was also a day of farewells and the children said goodbye to their wonderful Miss Yolande, and ICS farewelled Dominique.
Research continues to show that an affinity to and love of nature, along with a positive environmental ethic, grow out of children’s regular contact with and play in the natural world. This contact is essential to children’s general growth, development and knowledge of the world, and indeed to the health of our environment. Children who love nature will strive to protect it in the future. Live With Nature – and Nature Lives. A big thanks to Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund for enabling these hugely enriching experiences.
Today is World Wildlife Day, the United Nations global celebration of the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants on our planet, and occasion to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to both wildlife and people and the plight of many threatened or endangered species.
This year's World Wildlife Day theme is “Big cats: predators under threat". Whilst not home to big cats, Seychelles' expansive marine reserves support an incredible diversity of amazing species. The Indian Lionfish is a majestic and highly effective predator native to Seychelles' reefs. Graceful and slow swimming, it uses its featherlike fins to simultaneously attract and camouflage from prey. Lionfish are ambush predators, swallowing whole anything that fits in their mouth, and able to expand their stomach to 30 times its size. They are territorial, solitary hunters which can live up to 15 years and in their native habitat are an essential element of healthy reef ecosystems.