My stay on Desroches Island as a volunteer for ICS was a delight. I learned what the necessary conservation work on a remote island is like. The importance of an organisation that keeps track of different species and their breeding behavior is tremendous. After a learning phase I was able, to contribute my part in the weekly tasks of the team. I conducted turtle patrol to determine, if Green turtles had came to the beach during the night to lay their eggs. I also helped collecting data about the number of different sea birds and their behavior as well.
I am grateful, that organisations like ICS invest time and energy in protecting endangered species, like the beautiful Wedge-tailed shearwater, whom a regularly visit to their nests at nightfall became one of my favorite activities.
I also learned a lot about tortoises and their behavior since another one of my tasks was
feeding and caring for the hatchlings and juveniles in the sanctuary. On these occasions, I could interact with the visiting guests. I have rarely seen creatures as lovely as these little fellows, which made the "work" a real joy. However, the sheer amount of tortoises in the juvenile pen made the food collection a challenging task; unfortunately tortoises do not like palm leaves! I even witnessed a tortoise laying eggs, which is a very rare sight. Sadly, for the safety of the hatchlings we had to move the nest, because she laid in the middle of the road. But my team was sure that the eggs would survive the move.
I definitely got sensitized in regard of my behavior as a consumer of one way plastic packages and
bottles, when we did the beach cleanup together with a group of other people from the island. That time, we collected a jaw-dropping 183 kilos of waste, which is a huge number, especially knowing that next month the beach will again be polluted.
My report would not be complete, if I would not mention the few downsides the live on such a
remote island brings with it. I learned what it means, to live with almost no internet and to be dependent on the materials available on the island. I like to think of this as part of the experience but it should not be underestimated.
Besides that, I was very happy with the accommodation of course and the delicious meals I could enjoy every day. I also made some amazing friends and spend a wonderful time with them. I will definitely not forget my time on Desroches.
Thank you everyone!