During the activities of this week, the volunteers’ team recorded 7 new chicks of tropic birds and 3 of white terns, for a total of 25 tropic birds and 20 fairy terns chicks up today.
Understanding the condition of seabird colonies is a vital first step towards their successful conservation. With this in mind, one of the most important activities carried out by volunteers is the extensive monitoring of seabird breeding on Cousin, in order to track and evaluate the breeding success of all of the main species breeding on the island.
In January, monitoring activities of white tailed tropic birds and white terns started on the island. Volunteering teams went all around the island looking for 100 nests for each species. Nest sites have been tagged and a description of the nests locations have been made in order to help relocate them.
Once a week, nests are monitored and their content recorded. During the monitoring activities, adults are carefully approached, to avoid disturbing them, in order to ensure they have an egg or a small chick.
Once the chick is born, its status (C1, C2, C3) is recorded in order to document the chronology of breeding during the monitoring. Volunteers take care of entering all this information on a specific datasheet which will calculate the final breeding success.
*( C1 small downy chick; C2 partially feathered chick; C3 near or fully feathered chick)
Photos by Remi Gruget