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WILD L IFE AUTUMN/WINTER 2018

W W W. DU RRE LL . O R G


A Cheeky Website Launch Cheeky Monkeys at Durrell (CMAD) aim to promote a caring environment, through the highest standards of professional practice, in which children can flourish, physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website for Cheeky Monkeys at Durrell - a labour of love and bursting with information to keep current parents informed and giving new parents access to everything they need to know!

www.cheekymonkeysnursery.je

They have given my child the most magical “ start in life. I’ve been so impressed with the kindness and care my little boy has received from the fantastic team.

Ceri, Mother of a Baby Bear.

01534 860086

cheekymonkeys@durrell.org

0-5 years


WE LCO ME

W EL C O M E TO W ILD LIF E A UT U M N / W I N TE R 2018 This exciting edition of Wild Life is themed around islands. Islands hold a special place in the heart of a conservationist, and for Gerald Durrell they were particularly important. Corfu, Jersey, Mauritius and Madagascar inspired his books and conservation achievements, leaving a rich legacy on which the Trust has built its reputation and developed its new strategy, Rewild Our World. The ‘people’ element of the strategy – re-connecting with nature and community conservation – can be traced back to Corfu and Madagascar. The conservation ‘tools’, such as breeding, research and training, were honed in Jersey and Mauritius. Rewild Our World involves not only these islands, which are integral to the Durrell story, but others around the world. You can help us make major progress on the strategy by supporting the Trust’s projects on Round Island and Floreana. The plight of Round Island inspired Gerry more than 30 years ago to develop his ideas on ‘ecological restoration’, another term for ‘rewilding’.

Floreana is one of our newest island projects and focuses on some iconic species, such as the mockingbirds and finches beloved of Charles Darwin. This year has been one of great hustle and bustle at Jersey Zoo. Significant hatchings or births included several flamingos and dwarf chameleons and twins for black lion tamarins. Substantial buildings were erected to bring our visitors up close and personal with our lemurs and with butterflies! The new butterfly house is a first for Jersey Zoo and a joy to behold and explore. They are sustainably farmed in South and Central America, Asia and Africa, providing a livelihood for local people, and then shipped as pupae. From the pupae emerge some of the most exquisite butterflies in the world, dazzling children and adults alike, bringing to life what Gerald Durrell meant when he wrote “We hope you will be grateful for having been born into such a magical world.”

Dr Lee Durrell HONORARY D I RE CTO R

CO NT E N TS 2

TREASURED ISL ANDS

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MEETING MONTY

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AT THE ZOO

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IN THE WILD

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CONSERVATION KNOWLEDGE

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REWILD OUR ISL ANDS

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EXPLORING MOZAMBIQUE’S HIDDEN RAINFORESTS

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PROTECTING AL AOTRA’S MARSHL AND

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A KALEIDOSCOPE OF BUT TERFLIES

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REWILD THE PEOPLE

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DODO DISPATCH

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BE INSPIRED

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ROUND ISL AND IN NUMBERS

DU R R E LL WILDLIF E C ON SERVATION TR UST is a Registered Charity with the Jersey Charity Commissioner, registered charity number: 1 PATR O N HRH The Princess Royal FOUND ER Gerald Durrell, OBE, LHD HONORA RY D IRE CT OR Dr Lee Durrell, MBE, PhD DU R R E LL WILDLIF E C ON SERVATION TR UST - UK is registered in England and Wales. A charitable company limited by guarantee. R E G I S TE RED CH A RIT Y N UM B ER 1121989 R EGISTER ED COMPANY NUM BE R 6448493 R E G I S TE RED O F F IC E c/o Intertrust Corporate Services (UK) Limited, 35 Great St. Helen’s, London EC3A 6AP P H O TO A N D ILLUST RAT IO N CR ED ITS Jeffrey Barbee, Will Bertram, Udayan Borthakur, David Brosha, Freya Clark, Nik Cole, Emma Caton, Elizabeth Corry, Lesely Dickie, Estate of Gerald Durrell, Pierre Krizan, Gerado Garcia, Gregory Guida www.gguida.com, Nirvana Herizo, Island Conservation, Simon James, Luke Jones, Tiffany Lang, Phil Lambdon, Iain Leech, Dean Maryon www.deanmaryon.com, NOUN PROJECT (Stefan Mihaylov, Cono Studio Milano, parkjisun, Christine M Winn, Hamish, corpus delicti, John Burraco, Nook Fulloption, Chameleon Design, Made, Vladimir Belochkin, Tinashe Mugayi, David, Ozza Okuonghae, Dinosoft Labs, Juraj Sedlák, Saeful Muslim), Luis Ortiz Cathedral, Sam Rowley, Chris Scarffe www.chrisscarffe.com, Seadog TV & Film Productions, Joe Smith, Colin Stevenson. C O VE R IMA G E Nina Powell INSTAGRAM @nina.powell.photography

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TRE ASU RED I SL AND S DR LE S LE Y DI C K I E C HIEF EX EC U TIVE OF F IC ER

Our work spans multiple islands worldwide. You will find Durrell projects and people stretching across the globe from Floreana in the Galapagos Islands, to Montserrat and St Lucia in the Caribbean, to the ‘Great Red Island’ of Madagascar and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and Sumatra in South East Asia. Most importantly, we are headquartered on an island, Jersey, and therefore the rhythm of islands is in our blood. We are undoubtedly island people. Islands are special as they are home to some of the world’s rarest species which are often found nowhere else on Earth and they face amplified threats. Invasive species in particular can wreak havoc. They are often more adaptable than island species and often lack predators and natural competitors and therefore adversely impact unique ecosystems that evolved delicate balances in isolation. We are attracted towards working on islands because, given enough resources and time, we know we can avert loss where we know that unique species are in need of help, and perhaps a little of the romance of islands seeps into our decision making too. We cross water, deep unfathomable oceans, to reach them, isolated from the world. P.D. James once wrote, “every island to a child is a treasure island” and for us that means the treasures of nature. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to travel to Mauritius and its offshore islands to see first-hand the work being carried out by our team, and partner

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organisations. Accompanying me on this trip was Dr Andrew Terry, who leads our field programmes, and Dr Rich Young, our Head of Conservation Knowledge (our science, education and training). We arrived Monday morning, somewhat bleary-eyed from our overnight flight, straight into a meeting with our long-term partners, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF). We cemented the firm partnership that exists by discussing our collaborations, strategy, and what we wanted to do next in terms of preserving the biodiversity of Mauritius. For Durrell, partnerships are extremely important – we cannot carry out our work without the collaboration between committed and passionate partners worldwide and Mauritius is no different. Alongside MWF, we work closely with the government of Mauritius and specifically the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) to advance nature conservation, specifically endangered species recovery. Day two of our trip involved more

meetings to discuss details of programmes, including pink pigeon conservation, seabird and reptile restorations, training and capacity building for conservation in the Indian Ocean. As productive and vital as those meetings were, we were of course itching to get out to some of the field sites. Our schedule for the week was altered at short notice as the fleet of helicopters on the island were temporarily grounded – our first stop to Round Island, which would have taken about 15 minutes by helicopter, was now to be made by a 1.5 hour long boat ride courtesy of the National Coastguard. The evening before our trip to Round Island, Dr Nik Cole, who heads up Durrell’s work on Mauritius, carefully took us through the ‘quarantine barrel’ process. Effectively, anything you want to take onto Round Island, must be thoroughly inspected so that no seeds of invasive plants or small animals could hitchhike on our field gear. Once checked it was placed inside a sealed barrel and would not be opened again


until inside a sealed room at the field station on Round Island, where the checking process would take place in reverse. This may seem over the top, but such is the fragility of island systems, and invasive plants continue to be a risk for the Round Island plant community. On the morning of day three, we skimmed over a glorious and calm Indian Ocean, passing the other northern offshore islands of Gunner’s Quoin, Flat Island and Pigeon Rock. Soon the dome of Round Island came into view and the slightly precarious task of actually getting onto the island became obvious. Despite the sea being relatively calm, there was still a significant rise and swell as the boat tried to hover near the landing rock. The landing rock is simply a flat rock, slippery from seaweed and spray with some ropes attached, which we had to leap onto from the boat. The procedure was carried out with military precision; the team coming onto the island go first. You perch on the edge of the rising and falling boat, in your socks (no bare feet, no shoes – socks for grip) with Nik holding you by your life jacket. A member of the team already on island waits on the rock, holding onto a rope. At an opportune moment as the boat rises to meet the land, you go for it, simultaneously

pushed by Nik, grabbed by the land crew and pulled ashore, avoiding the twin fates of either face planting the rock and/or ending up in the water between the rock and boat. We all successfully got on land, transferred our barrels, and the outgoing team jumped onto the boat with their barrels. All accomplished in very short order. Just when we thought it was over we were then faced with the strenuous task of strapping the barrels to our back and hauling them to the field station up a cliff face! Fieldwork is not for the faint hearted! We stayed on Round Island for two fantastic days and nights, seeing the progress that had been made in restoring the native vegetation and the endemic reptile communities. Walking across the island in scorching heat, we occasionally sat to watch the translocated giant Aldabra tortoises happily munching away, acting as living, breathing engineers of the environment. Much work is still to be done, but it was heartening to see what had once been a barren rock now slowly emerging back into a functioning ecosystem, one that is teaching us something about island rewilding every single day. After safely getting back onto the boat and heading back to the

mainland, it was time for a quick shower before heading off to meet the Minister of the Environment and restating our commitment to conservation on the islands. Saturday was a wonderful day visiting the islands of the south, and exploring the reptile communities there, currently under threat from invasive species and habitat loss. Before I left on the Sunday evening, we also had the opportunity to head into the interior of Mauritius to visit the Black River Gorge National Park and see pink pigeons flying in the wild. In the future, we hope that more individuals bred at the zoo in Jersey can be returned to the lush, green mountains of Mauritius. Though all too short a visit, I am indebted to the hospitality of all our colleagues in Mauritius, particularly Nik Cole, who hosted us so well. It was an inspiring, exhilarating and sometimes poignant visit to a remarkable set of islands where we know conservation can work. Sitting on a rock, watching the seabirds swirling and calling above us, whiskey in hand, as the sun set on Round Island, talking about life, the universe, and everything, will stay in my memory for a long time to come. CL OCKW IS E F R OM L E F T A Telfair’s finds a

comfy spot on my hat. Meeting a tiny Aldabra tortoise. Exploring Round Island (Serpent Island in the background)

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M e eti ng ng M on o n ty

Earlier this year we were delighted to announce that Monty Halls joined the team as our newest ambassador. Monty is a conservationist, an explorer and a well-known TV presenter, who as a young boy was inspired by Gerald Durrell’s vision to protect and save the natural world. Monty’s recent Channel 4 Series, My Family and the Galapagos, looked at the magical Galapagos Islands through the eyes of his young children. Monty is also President of the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT), one of Durrell’s core partners.

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Y O U STA R T ED OF F AS A MARINE , W H AT MADE Y OU CHANG E YO UR TA C K ? Realising I was more interested in the things I was running past than the things I was supposed to be shooting at! A great organisation though, I’m really proud to have been a Marine, and happily the new career just meant adding the word “Biologist”. W H E N DI D Y OU DI S CO V E R YO UR L O V E OF T HE N AT URAL WO RLD ? I’ve been fascinated for as long as I can remember. My family was very outdoors orientated, and my Dad (who was in the RAF) was posted to Malta when I was one. The resultant exposure to the sea, the sun, and the environment (combined with the appearance of Cousteau on the TV at the same time) meant I didn’t stand a chance, poor wee mite. W H Y DI D Y OU WANT TO W O RK WI T H DU RRE LL? Gerry was my hero. I know I’m not alone in saying that by any means, but he was a truly significant figure for me. He’s greatly underestimated as a writer I feel – many view his books as entertaining, rather light reading. I feel that they contain real magic, and show such an empathy with the natural world. The work that the Trust does today is a fitting tribute to him, but it all started with that seminal view of an enchanted world. H O W DI D Y OU C O ME TO B E AN AMBA SSAD O R? I love Jersey, and through various contacts had done some work with Rathbones. The connection with the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust came from an email contact before the Galapagos series came out (earlier this year), and I was over the moon to duly be asked to be an ambassador, I really was. H O W DO Y OU HOPE TO H E L P DU R R EL L ? I’ll help in any way I can! Obviously speaking at events is a starting point, but running charity races (okay, shuffling charity races), helping come up with initiatives, and generally raising the profile of the work that the Trust undertake. T EL L U S ABOU T Y O UR RE CE NT EX P E R I ENC E L I VI NG IN THE G A L APA GOS? It was magical (obviously), but also extremely hard work! The pressures of trying to tell a coherent story, working with the film crew, covering as many conservation projects as possible, AND

looking after the kids (who were only five and three at the time) made it really demanding for my wife Tam and myself. The kids had a ball though! And in retrospect we fully appreciate what it was – truly bucket list stuff, something our kids will tell their own grandchildren. WHAT D I D Y O U AND Y O U R FAMILY TAK E AWAY F R O M T H E E XP E RIE N C E? The answer will surprise you! It was – of course – a unique and precious opportunity, but oddly enough one of our overwhelming thoughts when we got home was how lovely it is where we live (i.e. the UK)! I think the reason for this was that Galapagos encourages immersion in nature, and makes you walk around with your head up looking for the next encounter. This continued when we got back home, and we suddenly realised just what extraordinary wildlife we have here too. They say that noone who visits the islands returns home the same, and that was our big shift in perception as a family. WHAT WA S T H E H I G H LI G H T O F YO UR T I M E O U T T H ERE? Snorkelling with Isla and a big old green turtle came over to say hello. I saw her life change at that moment – a slightly histrionic thing to say, but true. She talks about it to this day. And watching Molls dance on a beach in Isabella. WHAT WA S T H E M O ST D EP RESSI NG THING YO U W I T NESSED ? Plastics! Everywhere, unavoidable, and more coming in on every tide. There was also the devastating incident of the Chinese shark fishing boat that was apprehended with 700 dead sharks on board whilst we were in the islands. The locals were – genuinely – distraught.

H O W ARE D U RRELL AND GC T W O RK I NG T O G ET H ER T O H E L P P RESERV E T H E G AL APAG OS ? They have an exciting vision to rewild the island of Floreana. This will focus first on protecting highly threatened species already on the island and then on the restoration of species such as the Floreana mockingbird and Galapagos racer snake, which are currently restricted to tiny offshore islands. Co-operative efforts like this are critical for the islands to maintain their delicate ecosystems. I’m really proud to have an ambassadorial foot in both the GCT and Durrell camps. D O Y O U T H I NK T H ERE I S H O P E F O R T H E NAT U RAL W O RLD? Yes, I do. There is a new generation coming through who are more aware of environmental issues than we ever were, and can communicate on a global scale like we never could. The picture can seem grim, but there is genuine hope now we realise the predicament we’re in (although action at political level is key – mind you, all of those young people can vote, or will do soon!). H O W D O Y O U AND Y O U R FA M I LY ENJ O Y T H E G REAT O U T D O O R S ? Beach time, walking, surfing, or Daddy being a big bad wolf and chasing the kids round the garden. If you show a young person – any young person – a wild place, then something in them comes alive. H AV I NG REC ENT LY SP ENT TI M E I N J ERSEY AND T H E G AL A PA G O S , W H I C H O F D U RRELL’ S REWI L DI N G SI T ES W O U LD Y O U LI K E T O VI S I T NEX T ? All of them please.

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AT T H E Z O O

UPCOMING EV ENT S DURRELL CHALLENGE We had another very successful Durrell Challenge this year with Hollywood actor and Durrell ambassador, Henry Cavill once again taking part in the challenging 13k run. We were delighted to see nearly 600 people turn up from 16 countires and close to 40 VIP runners who all committed to raising over ÂŁ1000 for Durrell! A huge thank you and congratulations to all of the runners who took part. SAVE TH E D ATE 12th May 2019

GO WILD GOLF DAY Next year we will be holding a Go Wild Golf Day at La Moye Golf Club in celebration of our 60th anniversary! This event encourages local businesses to come and enjoy a day out at the golf club with money raised going towards helping us continue our work saving wildlife. SAV E T H E D ATE 14th June 2019 Check out Durrell.org/events for more details and to find out what else is on at Jersey Zoo next year.

L EMUR L AKE G O O DBY E G EOR GE Sadly George, our male white-handed gibbon, died this autumn following a period of severe illness. The tough decision was made to put him to sleep due to a very poor prognosis. He arrived at the zoo 21 years ago with his partner Hazel and was very popular due to his amazing acrobatics and wonderful whooping call. Thankfully, Hazel appears to be doing well despite his absence and is often seen socialising with the orangutans in their enclosure.

TAMA R I N TW IN S We were thrilled by the arrival of two, new-born black lion tamarins this summer. These precious babies are the first of the species to be born outside of Brazil since 2011, and a vital addition to the captive breeding programme. Their parents arrived from SĂŁo Paulo Zoo following a special fundraising initiative supported by our members. Jersey Zoo is currently the only place outside of Brazil that houses this species.

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A new lemur walkway has now opened which will allow our ring-tailed lemurs and visitors to get more up close and personal than ever before. A floating pontoon on our lemur lake gives visitors much better viewing of the group, and the lemurs will also have the option to come onto it to share the space!


NE WS

N EW A R R I VA L S It’s not only tamarins that have seen breeding success this year, many of our animals have also been welcoming new arrivals. It was a bumper breeding year for our Chilean flamingos with three fluffy chicks reared this summer which will form part of a new, exciting extension to our flamingo area next year. Other notable hatchlings included turquoise dwarf geckos and bearded dwarf chameleons which now form part of a new exhibit in the reptile and amphibian house.

BEAR DE D DWARF C HAMEL EONS

W I L D W O O D PL AY A REA OPEN S Our new Wild Wood play area opened this autumn in the Dodo Café. This new area has been specially designed with nature connection in mind and is a great opportunity for kids to unleash their wild side! This is the chance for parents to sit back and enjoy a warm drink while their little ones jump, climb, slide and crawl to their hearts content.

HEAD STAR T FOR JER SEY FR OGS Over the spring and summer, we successfully ‘headstarted’ 4,200 agile frogs, rearing them from egg to froglet in biosecure conditions in the zoo to increase survivorship. These were then released into ponds on the south coast of Jersey, significantly boosting the wild population

A D A S H O F COLOUR A big shout out to the 650 runners who took part in this year’s Durrell Dash and helped us raise £12,797 to support our new Butterfly House. Once again the Dash was kindly sponsored by Rathbones and we were proud to make the event single-use plastic free thanks to support from Jersey Water. This popular road race will be back next year so S AV E T H E D AT E Sunday 3rd November 2019

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IN T HE W I L D

P Y G M Y H O G PR OG RA MME GR OWS IN SIZE In May, six pygmy hogs were released into the Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary and tracked using radio transmitters. We have been able to follow the hogs as they move around the Wildlife Sanctuary and they have even spent time in neighbouring tea estates. Meanwhile, back at the captive breeding centre, we welcomed 37 new hoglets from 13 litters bringing the captive population to 91 individuals. The team have also been working hard to develop a new research strategy, led by the newly appointed Programme Scientist, Dr Dhritiman Das, and supported by the team in the UK.

THOUSAND S OF R AD IATED TOR TOIS E S R ESCUED Earlier this year, a shocking discovery was made in a private house in south west Madagascar: over 10,000 radiated tortoises were found destined for the illegal pet trade. Radiated tortoises are Critically Endangered and found only in Madagascar. Many of the tortoises were suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, and illness and were moved to a secure facility where they received veterinary support to help them recover. The Turtle Survival Alliance coordinated this rescue mission and Durrell Madagascar’s vet, Natacha Rasolozaka was one of the first on the scene. There has also been a huge response from the international zoo community to support the rescue. Three suspects were apprehended in connection with the smuggling operation. This is the worst wildlife crime in Madagascar’s history and highlights the severity of the poaching and smuggling issue in Madagascar.

P RE PA R ATI O NS F OR P O C H A R D R ELEA SE UN D E RWAY Durrell’s team in Madagascar has been hard at work with our partners at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust preparing for the release of the world’s rarest duck, the Madagascar pochard. Floating aviaries have now been installed on Lake Sofia and ducks will be moved from our captive breeding centre into these aviaries to allow them to get used to life in the wild before they are released later in the year. This is the very exciting next chapter in our journey to save this species from extinction.

P R O TE C TI N G MA URIT IA N UN IQ UE OFFSHOR E ISL AND S Over the past year, our partner the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has been engaging the local community to protect the unique and fragile islands surrounding Mauritius. The project aimed to reduce the pressures on the islands from tourists, recreational use and local fishing. Over 250 fishermen, skippers and coast guards were involved in workshops, public talks and island visits throughout the year and ongoing monitoring showed that the incidence of fire and littering on the islands reduced in response, which is a great result. The project concluded with a large public festival including a sailing boat regatta and ‘canot raffia’ (traditional model boat race), and participants received certificates. 8

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R ESTO R I N G R O UN D ISL A N D Our vision for Round Island in Mauritius is to restore a healthy and diverse plant ecosystem which supports the reintroduction of other threatened endemic species on the island. A priority is to restore the native hardwood forest as this contains key plant species which represent important habitat for Round Island reptiles. Over the past year, Durrell has been working with partners Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and National Parks and Conservation Service to improve the survival rates of white ebony (Diospyros egrettarum), a Critically Endangered tree species, as well as other threatened plant species. In addition to planting 250 individual white ebony saplings, more than 10,000 different trees and shrubs planted in previous years have been relocated, identified and compared to planting records to determine survival rates. This information will be used to inform the planting programme into the future.

WHITE EB ONY

J ER S E Y ’ S C H O UGH S F LY IN G T H E NEST Jersey now has 46 choughs flying free thanks to a brilliant breeding season and release efforts by Jersey Zoo staff. Over the summer, nine wild chicks fledged from their nests and have now joined the wild flock. Each chick has been fitted with a unique leg ring, allowing us to follow the different individuals as they move around the island. After a very busy breeding season in June and July, the adults are now relaxing back into their normal routines as the chicks become more independent and feed themselves.

GEAR ING UP FOR FL OR EANA R ESTOR ATION As Durrell gears up to support the restoration of Floreana Island (see page 18 and our appeal), we are excited to welcome a new staff member to oversee our work in the Galapagos. Roland Digby will be leading the development of temporary captive facilities to hold native birds while a major invasive species eradication process is undertaken. Roland comes with vast experience having helped set up the pochard programme in Madagascar and also worked on projects in the Russian far east, China and the UK. He will be embedded within Island Conservation, our partner organisation in the Galapagos, and spending most of his time on the island of Floreana.

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C O N SE RVATI O N K N OWLEDG E In January, we brought together our Conservation Science and Education teams with our Conservation Academy and training programmes to form a new department - Conservation Knowledge. As the name suggests, this new team is all about generating the knowledge we need to deliver the most effective conservation work possible - as well as sharing knowledge, skills and experiences with professional conservationists, zoo visitors and school children. In this section of Wild Life, we highlight news from across the Conservation Knowledge team.

PYGMY HOG PL ANN IN G In June, Head of Conservation Knowledge, Richard Young, and Conservation Scientist, Mike Hudson, spent a very productive two weeks with colleagues in Assam, India, to design a research and monitoring programme to support the recovery of the pygmy hog. We weren’t lucky enough to see a pygmy hog in the wild (or a tiger for that matter!), but it was wonderful to visit the stunning grasslands that sit on the banks of the Brahmaputra, below the towering Himalayas. We now have a plan that will transform our understanding of the status of the wild populations and tell us in more detail how the reintroduced animals are faring.

CEL EB R ATING THE L IF E OF GER AL D D UR R E LL

T R A I N I N G I N T H E IN DIA N O C EA N In Mauritius and Madagascar, we have begun a brand new three year programme, training conservationists from the Indian Ocean, on behalf of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. We have so far trained 15 people from Madagascar, Comoros Islands, Mauritius and Seychelles in key technical field conservation skills, as well as effective conservation project management skills.

To celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of Jersey Zoo, we are running two Gerald Durrell-themed weeks in 2019 – one exploring his childhood home of Corfu in April, and one based in Jersey in June, where participants will gain exclusive behind the scenes access at the zoo. For further information, see durrell.org/academy/courses.

A N O TH E R G R EAT Y EA R F OR DURREL L ’S FL AGSHIP T R A I N I N G C OURSE 15 conservationists from 12 countries have successfully completed the annual DESMAN course in Jersey. Several are now pursuing further study, or implementing projects they designed while in Jersey – from reducing persecution of endangered snakes in St Lucia to monitoring feral cats threatening one of the world’s rarest birds in Samoa, and much more.

SMAL L MAMMAL ACTION As part of Durrell’s global programme to advance science and conservation for the world’s small mammal species (think hedgehogs, mice, shrews, and squirrels), Conservation Scientist Ros Kennerley visited Mexico in May. With this country being one of the world’s most important regions for small mammals, Ros organised a workshop with Mexican experts to identify the species in most need of conservation and to form an action plan. We hope that this plan will bring much needed attention to these over-looked and under-appreciated mammal species.

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Islands lie at the heart of Durrell’s vision of a wilder, healthier, more colourful world. Isolated from the mainland by oceans, islands have evolved to become unique and delicate ecosystems. They offer great diversity in plant and animal life and are home to the world’s rarest species, which are often found nowhere else on Earth. Conservationists have shown that islands are beacons of hope, places where meaningful change can happen.

OU R WORLD

In this issue of Wild Life we focus on Round Island in Mauritius, Floreana in the Galápagos and our home in Jersey. We want to restore these islands for the unique wildlife they contain, but also as global case studies that can be replicated around the world. BRITAIN TEMPERATE FOREST

JERSEY COASTL ANDS

SUMATRA - RAINFOREST INDIA - TERAI GRASSLANDS

ST LUCIA - DRY FOREST

BRAZIL - ATLANTIC RAINFOREST

MAURITIUS - ISLAND ECOSYSTEMS MADAGASCAR - WETLANDS

GALAPAGOS - FLOREANA ISLAND

MADAGASCAR - DRY FORESTS

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REWILDING SITES

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IN THE WILD

JERSEY

COAS TL AND S Our home in Jersey has a dramatic coastline, and a great deal of it is now managed as Jersey National Park. However, much of the island’s wildlife has been lost over time. We will work with our long-term partners in Jersey and build on our experience restoring threatened island ecosystems to bring back some of Jersey’s original species and use them to connect our community and visitors to their natural heritage.

GOAL Restore species to Jersey’s coastland habitats and connect people to nature KEY ISSUES Heavily degraded coastland habitats, missing wildlife and ecological functions, abandoned farmland KEY PAR TNERS States of Jersey, National Trust for Jersey SPECIES Red-billed chough, grass snake, agile frog, seabirds

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REWILDING SITES

MAURITIUS

ISL AND E C O S Y S TE M S Much of the native wildlife of Mauritius is restricted to a series of tiny offshore islands. These islands have benefited from decades of conservation investment. Now Durrell aims to focus on Round Island as a global model for the rewilding of whole island ecosystems, where the different connections and pathways between species are understood and are used to create diverse and functional ecosystems.

GOAL Rebuild the Round Island ecosystem as a global case study for island rewilding KEY ISSUES Invasive species, climate change, habitat degradation, ecosystem dysfunction

KEY PAR TNERS National Parks and Conservation Service, Forestry Service (Government of Mauritius), Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

SPECIES Round Island boa, Guenther’s gecko, Telfair’s skink, seabirds, giant tortoises, flightless rails, tarantulas

SAVE THE WORLD’S MOST THREATENED SPECIES DONATE NOW WWW.DURRELL.OR G/ISL ANDS

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IN THE WILD

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REWILDING SITES

FLOREANA ISLAND GAL APAG O S AR C H I P E L AGO The restoration of Floreana Island in the Galapagos is the focus of a major multi-partner recovery programme. Durrell is joining this partnership to focus on the recovery of many native species following the planned removal of rats and mice. This bold and challenging restoration programme will be a major global example of island recovery and will provide an important training ground for conservationists from around the world.

GOAL Recover native and threatened species to support the restoration of Floreana Island KEY ISSUES Invasive species, climate change, habitat degradation, ecosystem dysfunction KEY PAR TNERS Galapagos National Park Directorate, Galapagos Biosecurity Agency, Island Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture, Floreana Parish Council, Galapagos Conservation Trust SPECIES Floreana mockingbird, Floreana racer snake, Darwin’s finches, reptiles, short-eared owl

SAVE THE WORLD’S MOST THREATENED SPECIES DONATE NOW WWW.DURRELL.OR G/ISL ANDS

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IN THE WILD

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RE WILD ING IS L AND S REPRESENTING JUST 5% OF THE EARTH’S L AND MASS, ISL ANDS ARE HOME TO 37% OF CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES.

However, these rare environments are hugely vulnerable and at risk of disappearing. The introduction of invasive species by humans continues to have a devastating effect on flora and fauna, causing the extinction of many species and pushing others to the brink.

You can help combat the threats that continue to devastate these delicate ecosystems and help to recover threatened wildlife by rewilding islands across the world.

61% OF EXT I NC T I ONS HAPPEN ON I SL ANDS WI T H 86% OF T HESE DU E T O I NVASI VE SPEC I ES.

FLO REA NA

U NL ESS WE AC T NOW F U R T HER SPEC I ES WI L L B E L OST F OREVER .

SUS ANN A ORE SKO VIC (GC T )

Isolated from the mainland by oceans, islands have evolved to become unique and delicate ecosystems. They offer great diversity in plant and animal life and are home to the world’s rarest species, which are often found nowhere else on Earth.


ISL ANDS LIE AT THE HEAR T OF OUR VISION OF A WILDER, HEALTHIER MOR E COLOURFUL WORLD. R OUND ISL AND IN MAURITIUS AND FLOREANA IN THE GAL APAGOS ARE GLOBAL ICONS THAT UR GENTLY NEED YOUR HELP. Thanks to you, with our partners we have achieved great things. Through the work of the Government of Mauritius and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Round Island is free from invasive animals, its plant life is recovering and its native wildlife returning. But now we want to rewild the whole island. In the Galapágos, we have joined an ambitious partnership with the Galapágos National Park, Island Conservation and Galapágos Conservation Trust, to restore the entire island of Floreana. If successful, this will be the largest island in the world to be cleared of introduced predators.

You can accelerate the restoration of these important rewilding sites and help to develop approaches that will be applied to other island species and ecosystems around the world.

FLO REA NA MO CK ING BIR D

T ELFAIR ’S SKINK, R OUND ISL AND

RESTORING ISL ANDS IS HUGELY CHALLENGING. YOUR SUPPOR T IS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE A SHARED VISION WHERE ISL ANDS FLOURISH AND WILDLIFE CAN THRIVE. We desperately need to build a new field station on Round Island to accommodate a growing number of conservationists. You can help protect the team from hurricanes and the rigours of island life whilst supporting the development and expansion of the work achieved. Your investment is also needed to launch the recovery efforts on Floreana, making it possible to begin work monitoring the wildlife populations, starting with efforts to understand how to care for the native and sensitive bird species most at risk.

£10

will help train local people on Floreana

£50

will provide a pair of binoculars for our island biologists

£600

will make a week of conservation on Floreana possible

£10,000

will supply a 4x4 vehicle for the Islands Recovery Team

£60,000

will enable us to build an accommodation block for the Round Island field station

DO N AT E N OW VISIT WWW.D UR R EL L .OR G/ ISL AND S


O F MICE AN D MOUNT L I C O EXP L OR ING MOZAMB I Q UE’ S H I D D EN R A I N F O R EST S DR RICH ARD YO U NG HEAD OF C ONSERVATION KNOWL EDGE

Like many of you, as a child, I read Gerald Durrell’s books about his adventures in far-flung exotic places and coming face to face with incredible wildlife and people. Willard Price’s Adventure series about two young zoo collectors also lit up my imagination about travelling to unexplored places and finding rare and perhaps even new animal species. As a wildlife biologist and working for Durrell, I have been really lucky to travel to some amazing countries such as Madagascar and the Galapagos. But never before had I ventured to places totally unexplored by scientists, perhaps home to species of mammal, reptile or amphibians that are new to science. That was, until earlier this year. Out of the blue came a head-turning invite from an old friend and one of the foremost biological explorers in southern Africa, Professor Julian Bayliss. Would I like to be part of the first scientific exploration of two patches of rainforest in central Mozambique? These forests sit on top of two Inselberg mountains, Mount Lico and Mount Socone, which make them very difficult to access. In fact, the sheer, towering walls of Mount Lico means there is no record of anyone entering that forest, seductively suggesting no human has ever ventured there before. It was an opportunity too good to miss. Why do this, you might ask? I am Co-chair of the IUCN Small Mammal Specialist Group, a worldwide group of experts on species such as mice, hedgehogs, squirrels and such like – and there was a real possibility of new mice and shrew species living in these forests, as well as creatures such as chameleons, butterflies and snakes. I believe that the more we know about the wildlife and ecology of these wildernesses, their importance can be appropriately recognised and the more likely it is they can be protected.

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So, in May this year I joined 27 other scientists and explorers from the UK, Mozambique, South Africa and beyond – as well as a film crew to survey the wildlife of these two mountain-top rainforests. Crucially, we were also joined by two professional climbers who would make getting up the side of Mt Lico possible. After a long drive through the dramatic landscapes of Malawi over the border into Mozambique, we approached Mt Lico, where we were to set up camp at its base. When finally, we got the first glimpse of the mountain, it didn’t disappoint. Circular in shape, in places it reared vertically 700 metres above the surrounding plain, it was breathtaking. The bare rock walls were fringed at the very top by trees as the forest spilled over the edge. Then we spotted the low point, a 125-metre cliff which we were to climb. The scientists swallowed in trepidation, the climber’s eyes lit up with what they considered a ‘fun’ climb. As basecamp was constructed – tents erected, a freshwater source located, a kitchen built from bamboo, longdrop toilets dug - nervous excitement began to build. As Julian explained to the scientist team, the expedition

would split in two - the first group to ascend Mt Lico, the second group, including me, to establish a walking route up Mt Socone, set up a satellite camp and start surveying. After a few days, we’d then switch over – or at least that was the plan. The mission was to describe as much of the ecology and wildlife of these forests as possible - live-traps were to be set for small mammals, butterflies to be caught in nets, plants to be collected, reptiles to be examined, and birds to be surveyed. The rainforest of Mt Socone proved to be a mixed experience. In places, towering, buttressed trees made for an impressive rainforest but in other places it was disappearing - getting cleared by people for growing crops and with signs of regular hunting. After a few days and nights of successful surveying, we could see that this forest was home to some really interesting wildlife, including likely undescribed species of mouse, shrew, chameleon and frog. Things were going really well, and Mt Lico was awaiting. And then, I made a mistake. I lost my footing walking down a steep, slippery slope and fell at a rate of knots onto a fallen tree-trunk.


To say I knocked the wind out of my sails would not cover it. As it proved, I’d cracked a couple of ribs which made the rest of the expedition extremely painful and as I was struggling to walk there was no way I was capable of climbing Mt Lico. So I had to rely on other people’s experiences of the climb up the walls of Mt Lico and stories of the thrill of walking in an ancient, hidden forest. As it turned out, people had been before but probably not for a long, long time. Julian and the team found ancient clay pots laid around a spring, perhaps a site of worship. They also discovered so much more in this forest in terms of the history of the forest

and the creatures it’s home to today. Unfamiliar-looking frogs, snakes, mice and butterflies would need further examination to determine if they are new to science. It was of course frustrating to hear about this work on Mt Lico and not experience it, but I was determined not to metaphorically kick myself too hard for the injury. As the expedition drew to a close, over a whiskey or two around the campfire, we all reflected on what had been achieved. The climbers and expedition leaders had done an amazing job enabling the scientists to discover so much about the state and wildlife of these forests, revealing themselves to be of global importance. It had,

at times, been challenging – as exploring remote parts of Africa always prove to be – but so rewarding on a personal as well as professional level. Discovery of species new to science, having hundreds of army ants run up your trousers, being detained by police, washing in a river for two weeks, visiting dramatic mountainous landscapes, and of course smashing up one’s ribs, I hope it lived up to Gerald Durrell’s expeditions of yesteryear. CL OCKW IS E F R OM L E F T Ana Gledis da

Conceição Miranda, a Mozambican biologist, holds an as-yet unidentified mouse. Forest campsite. Mount Lico. All photos Jeffrey Barbee

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IN THE WILD

P R OTE CTIN G AL AOTRA’S MARSHL AND J E FF DAWS O N FI ELD CONSERVATION PROGRAMMES C OORDINATOR

Lake Alaotra Protected Area (PA), covering over 42,000 hectares, is the largest and most important freshwater lake in Madagascar. Comprising open water with surrounding marsh and reedbeds it is home to endemic wildlife such as the Alaotran gentle lemur along with around 100,000 people who rely on the lake for water, food and livelihoods. Durrell has been working at Alaotra since 1996 and our efforts there led to it being declared as a Protected Area in 2015. Durrell is now the responsible manager for Alaotra PA and work in conjunction with the local community management authority to ensure its protection. The Alaotra PA’s designation as a ‘Protected Landscape’ means that it is shaped by the interaction of people and nature and this should be safeguarded to maintain its unique ecological, biological and cultural values. As part of the designation process, over the last year, more than 160 concrete posts have been erected to demarcate the core conservation zone and there has been a huge focus on engaging with the local communities.

However, despite these efforts Alaotra remains under serious threat, with nearly 2,000Ha of marsh in the PA buffer zones being burnt annually for rice cultivation. This clearance is driven not just for food but as an attempt to gain ownership of public lands. Tackling this issue across such a large area and in a country where poverty is desperately high is extremely challenging. However, the team led by Herizo ‘Hery’ Andrianandrasana, Durrell Madagascar’s Head of Landscapes and Protected Areas, have been making some significant and high-profile progress. Whilst all PA’s have national laws and regulations, these are often ignored and not enforced. In Madagascar it is local laws that are often the most effective in controlling actions but only if supported by the relevant authorities. On 20 July 2018, the Durrell team succeeded in getting Le Prefet (the highest regional authority representing the Madagascar Prime Minister and law enforcement representative) to sign off a local set of laws (Arrete Prefectoral) for the Alaotra PA as a way to stop the rampant burning and land grabbing.

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Having the laws is one thing, but it is essential to communicate these laws to local communities and ensure they are understood and followed. Engaging face to face with people is one of the best ways of doing this and Durrell invests significant time in this as part of our conservation efforts in Madagascar. However, being told of the laws by NGO staff can only have so much impact and influence when, for such a vital development, more is required. To this end, Hery worked closely with the regional and local authorities to organise a tour of Alaotra to discuss the laws with the communities and included the Prefet; the Head of Regional Development; the regional heads of Environment and Forests, Land ownership, Topographic Service; the regional Prosecutor and the Director of the Cabinet for Fisheries along with two national journalists. It is hard to overstate what an achievement it is to get all the top regional authority representatives involved! Over an intense five-day period, the group held community discussions across seven key villages where Durrell is undertaking rural development work. Interest was very high with some discussions being attended by over 500 people. Facilitated by Hery, they heard the various authority representatives outlining the laws pertaining to the illegal nature of the clearance, clarifying that people will never own the lands they have cleared and that the laws will be enforced. In addition to the law enforcement ‘stick’ there must also be positive incentives ‘carrots’ for local people to adhere to the PA rules and regulations. Understanding that the people who have cleared marsh for rice are poor, the authorities decreed that they will be allowed to harvest this year’s rice crop as long as no further marsh is cleared. Hery is discussing with the authorities the option of signing contracts with those people growing rice in the marsh to allow them to continue doing so but they must contribute a small percentage, say 5% of their crop annually to the local community management authority to support their activities. For those that have obeyed the laws and not cleared marsh this may seem unfair but it has been decided those people will receive increased development support through Durrell’s Jersey Overseas Aid and Global Environment Fund supported projects. The importance of this work nationally is such that it was widely reported via the national radio, two national TV stations as well as on many local radio stations. This has been a vital and important development in efforts to secure the Alaotra wetlands for and its unique wildlife for future generations. Thank you to the Helmsley Charitable Trust and IUCN Save Our Species who have generously supported our work at Alaotra.


IN THE WILD

HE R I Z O ‘H E RY’ ANDRIANANDRAS ANA DU RREL L MADAGASC AR’S HEAD OF L ANDSC APES AND PROTEC TED A RE A S

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A KALEI D OSC OPE OF BUT TERFLI ES MARK BRAYSHAW HEAD OF ZOO OPERATIONS

One of Durrell’s goals is to better connect people with nature in order to improve their wellbeing and promote a sense of care and responsibility for our planet. In the zoo we have created a brand new exhibit to help us achieve this – a butterfly (and tortoise) house called ‘Butterfly Kaleidoscope’. The science behind nature connection is an emerging field, and some of the recognised pathways for people to feel connected are through both contact – engaging the senses, and through beauty – appreciating nature’s aesthetic qualities. Our butterfly house will certainly engage the senses. Visitors will be immersed in a warm and humid environment akin to a tropical forest, surrounded by a multitude of butterflies with no barriers between them and the animals, and enjoying the sight and smell of exotic plants. And appreciation of nature’s beauty? Well, butterflies have long been admired for their colourful, striking patterns and delicate flight, playing a unique and special role in many human cultures. Butterflies are almost universally appreciated as objects of admiration and inspiration. Our butterflies are some of the most attractive from around the globe, coming from Africa, Southeast Asia and South and Central America. They will feature the iridescent morphos with shimmering metallic wings, the brightly coloured and darting heliconids, elegant swallowtails, and the imposing Caligo butterflies with wing spots resembling the eyes of an owl. They are delivered to us as pupae, many of these as striking as the butterflies into which they transform, and are sustainably sourced from suppliers in their countries of origin, providing income for the local ‘butterfly farmers’. As for the tortoises, we have kept Galapagos tortoises at the zoo since 2010, when four arrived as juveniles, but they have grown fast and needed a larger area. Fortuitously,

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the warm and humid conditions suitable for Galapagos tortoises are similar to those required for tropical butterflies, so it made sense to use the new facility to house both. Unlike the butterflies, the tortoises will not have free roam of the entire house (the lush vegetation would not last very long if this was the case!) but visitors can still get very close to these impressive beasts, and marvel at their size. What interactions there will be between tortoises and butterflies remains to be seen! It is not just tropical butterflies our visitors will experience. Outside the exhibit a meandering path will take them through ‘bug-friendly’ planting which will attract native butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects. Many of these are in decline today because of a myriad of threats including habitat loss, pesticide use and invasive species amongst others. Educational materials will allow visitors to learn about the crucial role these insects play and how collectively we can all give them a helping hand. Butterflies are useful’ indicator’ species – their abundance and diversity is indicative of the overall health of the local environment, and as such they have formed part of a monitoring scheme on Jersey for many years. This area will encourage and support our local wildlife, contributing to our broader aim of rewilding Jersey. We hope that people will be engaged and entertained by this new area, enjoy the colour, and ultimately be inspired by the beauty, and indeed fragility, of butterflies and nature itself.


© Nina Powell

© Nina Powell

© Nina Powell

© Nina Powell

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TH E Jersey girl, Jess Pinel has always had a passion for adventure and the great outdoors. Growing up on the beautiful island of Jersey, Jess was lucky to have the opportunity to try her hand at many different outdoor activities; from horse riding to surfing and coasteering to cross county running. Jess has a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and is currently working as a Clinical Physiologist

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W H AT I NSPI R ED Y O U TO L AUNCH R EW I L D T HE PEOPLE ? On our beautiful little island, I was saddened to hear the phrase ‘but there is nothing to do’ repeated so often when we have so much available to us on our doorstep. Come rain or shine, all we have to do is simply open our eyes and the eyes of others to the great array of opportunities that await us. I am so passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors and wanted to help other people realise how much our island has to offer. The seed of an idea really flourished when I heard from a friend about Durrell’s ‘Rewild our World’ strategy and particularly that they are aiming to better connect 1,000,000 people to nature by 2025. Ultimately, I wanted to rewild the people of Jersey and encourage locals to reconnect to the natural world. T EL L U S A B OU T T HE P R O JE CT AND W H AT I T I N VOLVED ? Every day throughout July I took part in a different outdoor activity with the aim of inspiring as many individuals as possible to get out into nature and get active. I am so grateful to all the activity providers, clubs and businesses that supported me – it would not have been possible without them. H O W DI D Y OU GET O THE R P E O P LE IN V OLVED I N T HE P R O JE CT? The project seemed to take on a life of its own! I was interviewed on Channel TV and for other local newspapers, plus I set up social media accounts for the project and these all generated plenty of interest. Members of the public were invited to take part in about half of the activities which were advertised by Durrell, myself and the other individuals involved. I wanted to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. W H AT DI D Y OU HOP E TO A C H IEVE WI T H T HI S P R O JE CT? I started by wanting to change the ‘there is nothing to do’ philosophy of islanders into ‘what shall we do?’. Rewild the People set out to re-establish a powerful connection between individuals of all ages and the great outdoors. We live on a beautiful little island full of endless opportunities for adventure and I hoped to open the eyes of as many islanders as possible.

By teaming up with Durrell I was also able to support the ‘Rewild Our World Strategy’ which really resonated with me. WHAT WA S T H E H I G H LI G H T FO R YO U ? For me the biggest highlight of the project was seeing a smile on people’s faces when they tried a sport for the first time, it was priceless and something I will never ever forget. WHAT WA S T H E BI G G EST CHALLE NG E? Many people’s reaction to the challenge was to tell me how exhausted I was going to be. However, this didn’t worry me as I often take on up to three outdoor activities in my usual day to day life. However, day four of the challenge came around and exhaustion hit! It wasn’t the exercise that was getting to me but staying up late every night creating content for my social media. That was a hurdle I didn’t see coming, that’s for sure!

W H AT D I D Y O U P ERSO NAL LY G AI N F R O M T H E P R O J EC T ?

WHY D O Y O U BELI EV E T H AT G E T TING O U T D O O RS I S SO IMP O R TANT ?

I went into this project very open minded with the intent of ‘simply’ fulfilling my mission. During my journey a lot of things were brought to my attention. Firstly I was stunned by the passion, generosity and kindness of all those whom I met, and their dedication to make the month the greatest success. Secondly, I became aware of the struggles that some of the individuals, clubs and businesses face. The hard work that you don’t see behind all of their success: the hours of free time spent coaching others, the dilapidated facilities, the lack of funding and the lack of recognition and support.

The ‘great outdoors’ plays an important role in our mental and physical health and wellbeing, from short term recovery to long term improvements. Moreover, the combination of exercise and exposure to nature has been suggested to be a powerful tool to aid in the fight against physical inactivity and noncommunicable disease, as well as being more beneficial to mental health. The rise of urbanisation and decline in our exposure to natural environments is having a detrimental effect on our planet and our health.

I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and realised just how much one person can achieve. The project was hard work but I really enjoyed it and I have acquired an interest in a vast array of new activities and built an incredible relationship with all of the people involved. W H AT D I D Y O U LEARN ALO NG T H E WAY ?

However, despite this they were all willing to support me and the community and make this project happen. W H AT ’ S NEX T F O R Y O U ? Currently, I have a couple of small projects going on in the background which are in line with my mission. However, with my strong background in health and wellbeing, and an ever expanding network of likeminded individuals, my next aim is to encourage change within the education system. I strongly believe that more needs to be done to equip the younger generations with essential skills for the modern day world. We need to introduce and encourage further education in areas of health wellbeing and the great outdoors. So, let the next journey begin. AU T U M N / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 | W I L D L IFE

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D ODO D I S PATC H

G O GR EEN

CHALLENGE MAKE YOUR LUNC HBOX GREENER Eating lunch is essential for that midday energy boost, but be mindful of how much you are throwing into bins. On your own or as a class, at lunchtime weigh all the rubbish you collect. How could you reduce your rubbish weight? Here’s some helpful tips to get started. Bring your lunch in a tub or box rather than a plastic bag. Could you use a re-usable water bottle rather than a juice carton or plastic bottle? Be plastic savvy, can you find snacks that have little or no plastic packaging? Fruit and vegetables could be stored in tubs to keep them fresh, rather than plastic wrap. Any food waste can go in a compost bin for smaller creatures like worms and woodlice to munch on. You could use a chart to show if you can reduce the amount of rubbish in your lunch.

HOW DID YOU DO? Let us know how you get on making your lunchbox greener, email us at: education.admin@durrell.org

BIOBLITZ EVENT At this year’s annual bioblitz event in May we had 18 activities running throughout the day from the morning bird walk to the evening bat walk. Members and visitors commented on what a fun and memorable day it was and even a thunderstorm didn’t put people off the bat walk! Thank you to the Jersey Wildlife Groups that collaborated with us on this event: Jersey Bat Group, Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group, Beekeepers Association, Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Society, Birds on the Edge and Jersey Biodiversity Centre. Collectively we recorded 124 different species of plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians.

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DODO D IS PATCH

That special something is a critically endangered frog known as the Mountain Chicken. Now I know what you’re thinking, I hear you loud and clear! “Why is a frog called a mountain chicken?!” and “What’s so special about a frog?!”

Hi there! My name is Luke and l’m a Durrell Research Assistant working on the Caribbean island of Montserrat… l know, pretty cool right! Montserrat is a beautiful island- dense forest covers much of the north, sweeping from the coast right up into the lofty peaks of the Centre Hills mountain ranges. Being on an island makes work interesting as it can be hard to get products you need and the weather can be an issue. It is not all sunshine- there are times when we are at risk from hurricanes! The island is home to lots of wildlife; the nights come alive with the whistle like calls of thousands of tiny little tree frogs which are no bigger than your little finger nail. However, there is something missing from this island, something very special and something totally unique to only two of the Caribbean islands.

USA

Montserrat

Well, the mountain chicken is one of very few amphibians in the world that can claim the title of an ‘Apex Predator’, this means that on the island of Montserrat these frogs sat naturally at the very top of the food chain. This has led to some unusual behavior, they fear very little and will protect their nests against any threats. They’ve even been known to chase fieldworkers!

WILD REPO RT

Their unusual name is believed to come from their important role as a food source on both Montserrat and Dominica. They were praised for their meat which apparently tastes “just like chicken”! Mountain chicken’s are also good parents, a unique trait for an amphibian! They don’t abandon their eggs like most frogs- the mountain chicken digs deep burrows and makes a nest of foam where they lay their precious eggs. These eggs eventually hatch into tadpoles, which the mother continues to guard and feed. So why am I out here? Well recently, the mountain chicken has had some bad luck! A series of volcanic eruptions destroyed more than half of the island along with much of the wildlife and the habitats that they called home. On top of this, a deadly fungal disease known as chytrid was accidently introduced to the island. This chytrid disease is only deadly to amphibians. Once the disease reached the mountain chickens, it wiped out nearly 90% of the population in six months.

KEY WORDS AM P H I BI AN a class of animals that are coldblooded vertebrates and include frogs, salamanders and caecilians. C RI T I C ALLY END ANG ER E D is a category on the IUCN red list that states how endangered an animal is. AP EX P RED AT O R is the top predator in a food chain C H Y T RI D D I SEASE is a fungal disease that affects amphibians.

This was when Durrell came to the rescue! We evacuated the mountain chicken from Montserrat, bringing them into the safety of our zoo so we could care for them and learn as much about them as possible so that in time we could release them back into the wild. The project I am working on is looking to create a SAFE haven for the mountain chicken from this deadly chytrid disease on Montserrat. AU T U M N / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 | W I L D L I F E

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D ODO D I S PATC H

WILD TRIBE

Well done to St George’s Prep Conservation Club for completing their Silver Wild Tribe Award! Congratulations also go to Beaulieu Year 9 classes and Haute Vallee Year 7-9 group www.durrell.org/schools/wildtribe

St George’s Prep Conservation Club

can you complete our beautiful butterfly?

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DODO D IS PATCH

A D AY I N T H E L I F E O F A … MAMMAL KEEPER Hi, my name is Sanne and l am one of the mammal keepers. l work with many of the primates at Jersey Zoo but one of my favourites is the black lion tamarin.

These tiny monkeys are found in the rainforests of Brazil and are one of the most threatened primates in the world. We have eight adult black lion tamarins here, five of which arrived from Brazil in April last year. It was a very exciting day for the keepers and a big relief to know that they had arrived safely after their long journey. We kept them in quarantine for three months to make sure they weren’t carrying any diseases into Jersey before moving them into the zoo’s tamarin enclosures. They quickly settled into their new home and this July we were delighted that one of the new pairs gave birth to twins! The

babies are doing well and first-time parents, Gabriella and Laury, are working hard to look after them. It was very exciting for us to have bred these two babies, the first born in Europe in over ten years. A day working with the monkeys begins with us checking to see how all our animals are doing after their sleep. We then prepare their breakfast, the tamarins eat pellet that has been soaked in water overnight and a healthy smoothie which we prepare in the morning and pour over the pellet. Next, we take the feeds to the tamarins and then start cleaning. We give their rooms a clean and change their water and make sure they eat their breakfast and are happy and healthy. Once this is done we return to the kitchen and make their lunch. About once a month we weigh the tamarins, this is an important way for us to check their health and also monitor them when they are pregnant. As they are so small and only weigh about 700g even losing 10g could be a big problem. The tamarins are trained to come and sit on a set of scales and they get a tasty treat, like a meal worm or a piece of grape, when they do - which sometimes means they don’t want to get off! Black lions are bigger than our other tamarins and some of them try to cheat by stretching their arms across the scales and grabbing the treats without actually getting weighed. The tamarins then eat lunch while we find new branches for their enclosures which they will enjoy climbing on.

Black Lion Tamarin

Following this we prepare insects for their evening meals, which is their favourite feed of the day. Next, we give the enclosure another clean, this time picking up all the poo from the floor and taking away any food they haven’t eaten. Finally, we feed them their supper and do a last check before we leave them for the night. They usually go into their nest boxes before we leave so we know they are all safe and cosy in bed. At the end of the day we do all the washing up and make sure everything is ready for tomorrow and then write down any notes we have from the day. This makes sure we remember what we have done and helps us to learn more about our tamarins and how we can best look after them.

In the afternoon, we check on the tamarins again to see what they are up to before we do some gardening or tidying up in their enclosures.

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#D OI TF OR D UR R EL L

BE I N S PIRED We are so grateful to all our friends, members and supporters and we’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you. We hope you will be inspired by some of the ways our supporters have raised funds to help us save wildlife.

TH E L A S T D ODOS TA KE O N T HE MONGOL R AL LY The Mongol Rally thunders 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer. There is no backup, no support and no set route; just the team and a tiny 1000cc car. The Last Dodos, a team of four young guys, contacted us to say they had chosen to raise funds for Durrell alongside Cool Earth, a charity set up to work alongside communities to halt deforestation and climate change. The adventure took them across 41 countries and we were delighted that they made it all the way to Mongolia and that they chose to support Durrell. 32

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#DOI T F ORD URRE LL

B AR EFOOT B R EAKFAST Durrell hosted a business breakfast in partnership with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), at their Jersey HQ at Gaspé House. In keeping with the event’s message to ‘rewild ourselves’, guests were invited to remove their shoes and enter the room via the grass carpet. Guest speaker David Bond, Director of The Wild Network, spoke about the importance of nature connection, or wild time, to people’s health and wellbeing and explained the benefits of bringing a little wildness into our working lives. Many business leaders attended the event and were invited to support Durrell through various partnership opportunities To find out more email beth.gallichan@durrell.org

C A ZENOV E CAPITAL J O IN D UR R EL L “Cazenove Capital is delighted to be supporting Durrell again this year. We have a diverse client base and it is important to us as a firm to get involved in things that matter to our clients and us. As part of the Schroder group, we share ideas, insights and expertise from across the firm to deliver the best results for our clients’ investment needs and retirement planning. Our biggest investment is in the relationship with our clients and we are proud to assist Durrell strengthen the relationship we have with our world and the species that inhabit it.” Evan Dangerfield

MEER KAT ENCOUNTER FOR YOUNG FUND R AISER A huge thank you to 8 year old Hannah Bourne who set up her own ‘animal club’ at school to help teach others about animals. Hannah also organised a stall selling animal inspired crafts at the FCJ Primary School Fete to raise funds to support Durrell. Hannah personally delivered the £147 she raised and was delighted to have the chance to meet our keeper Leila and feed the meerkats.

A L A S TING L EGACY Every year more people are leaving a gift to charity in their Will. At Durrell we truly appreciate each and every gift we receive, for without them we would simply not be able to continue our ambitious conservation work at Jersey Zoo and around the world. Gifts in Wills provide essential funds to enable us to continue our vital work helping species such as the orangutan, which is under great threat from the illegal wildlife trade and from habitat loss due to commercial agriculture, such as palm oil. They allow us to train and inspire more conservation leaders, support local communities and protect natural habitats. To find out how you can leave a gift to Durrell in your Will please contact our Legacy Manager Amy Bompas on 01534 860065 or legacies@durrell.org Together, we can create a brighter, healthier, more colourful world for future generations.

AU T U M N / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 | W I L D L IFE

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IN NUMBERS

R OUND ISL AND IN NUMBERS

SI ZE O F I S L AND

280M A B OV E SEA L EV EL

219 H ECTARES

30 PL A N T SPECIES R EI NTR OD U CED TO R OU N D ISL AND

1 0 ,384 I NDI VIDUA L WEED S R E MO VE D IN 2017

674 T OR T OI SES

CL A SSI F I ED A S A N AT UR E R ESERV E 1957

97 PL A N T SPEC I ES PR E S E N T ON R OUN D I SL A N D

4 0 0 + I NV ER TEBRATE SPECIES

1 F I EL D STAT I ON 34

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JOIN US IN 2019 WHEN WE CELEBRATE OUR 60TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A WORLD-CLASS SCULPTURE TRAIL HERE IN JERSEY

Next summer over 30 individually designed ‘Go Wild Gorillas’ will be on display across Jersey and our neighbouring Channel Islands

GO WILD GORILLAS will come alive from 27th July to 14th October 2019

www.gowildgorillas.org

A Wild in Art event delivered in partnership with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust


Rathbone Greenbank Investments

Dedicated to ethical and sustainable investment

Your money Your values We provide a dedicated ethical and sustainable investment management service for individuals, families, charities and trusts. For more information on our services and to see examples of our engagement work on issues such as climate change, the environment and animal welfare, visit rathbonegreenbank.com For more information, please contact us on: 0117 930 3000 or greenbank@rathbones.com

The value of investments and income arising from them may fall as well as rise and you might get back less than you originally invested. Rathbone Greenbank Investments is a trading name of Rathbone Investment Management Limited, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Wild Life Winter 2018  
Wild Life Winter 2018