Aurelie Duhec and Richard Jeanne are Island Diehards. Since 2011 this tight team have tackled Conservation Management on the Seychelles Outer Islands of Desroches and Farquhar in the far reaches of the archipelago, working for Island Conservation Society (ICS). Yes, they live and work in one of the most beautiful regions of the Indian Ocean, on some days accompanied only by colonies of seabirds, turtles, sharks and rays. These they monitor daily, providing insights that excite researchers and nature enthusiasts the world over. Of course it's not all plain sailing. When Cyclone Fantala struck Farqhuar in April 2016, their newly established Conservation Centre - one of their proudest achievements for the Island - was completely wiped out, along with almost all the vegetation on the islands.
Yet they soon returned with renewed vigour and great enthusiasm to enact new programmes that now include fish catch and spawning aggregation monitoring, cetacean recording and manta ray population surveys. Then there were the beach clean ups, FAD removal operations and checking in on the giant tortoise population. The GOS-UNDP-GEF Outer Islands Project targets Farquhar, along with Desroches, Alphonse and Poivre managed by ICS, as significant areas for protection, thanks, in part, to abundant marine and terrestrial biodiversity and globally important seabird colonies. With consistent conservation management and monitoring, such as Aurelie and Richard provided, these islands can continue their role of wild refuges long into the future.
As Aurelie says, "There is an end for everything, even for the most beautiful experiences. Richard and I have been extremely enthusiastic to work for ICS in the remote Seychelles Islands where we certainly have written our most exciting chapter of our life".
Thank you Richard and Aurelie, for everything you've achieved during your time with ICS, for your dedication and unfailing good humour. You will be missed. We wish you the very best in your new adventures!
Island Conservation Society