Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 17.01.2008 (Article Archived on 31.01.2008)
Conservation supporters visit Ascension… Last week representatives from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Seabirds (RSPB) visited Ascension.
Both groups have been long time supporters of conservation work on Ascension. Recently, DFID has supported the Conservation Department through funding Green Mountain National Park and its associated paths through the Oversea Territories Environment Programme (OTEP). The RSPB founded the original Conservation Department with funds from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and currently supports the Seabird Restoration Project and two posts within our Department.
Visitors from the RSPB included Sarah Saunders, UK Overseas Territories Programme Manager, and Phil Lambdon, a botanist for the EU Invasive Species Project. Sarah and Phil were here to get an update on the Seabird Restoration Project and prepare Phil for his work on invasive plants in August. Sarah and Phil enjoyed a visit to Green Mountain on Friday and to the Letterbox on Saturday where we saw several roosting masked boobies.
Visitors from DFID included Dick Beales, Senior Natural Resources & Environment Adviser; Anna Miles, OTD Social Development Adviser; Sarah Petrie, OTD Health Adviser and Milena Rheinfeld, Deputy Programme Manager, South Atlantic. Dick came to check on the progress of Green Mountain National Park and the Path system (though the paths are now maintained by the Works Department). Dick enjoyed visits to Two Boats School and Green Mountain National Park. Visitors from both groups had the opportunity to go on a turtle tour as well.
The Conservation Department is very grateful for the time Sarah, Phil and Dick spent with our staff on Friday and over the weekend. Without the support of DFID and the RSPB, much of the Ascension conservation work and its outcomes (e.g. nesting seabirds, Green Mountain National Park) would not be possible.
THANK YOU: Thanks to the expeds on Exercise Assie Explorer II for their help with path clearing last week: Jim Beirne, Graham Monk, Vicky Richards and Michelle Slade-Jones.
NOTE: The Conservation Officer noticed several individuals on Long beach harassing sea turtles last week. The Conservation Department strongly encourages individuals who are interested in watching turtles book a turtle tour by ringing x6359. If you are not able to book a tour, please follow the guidelines clearly posted on Long Beach. Thank YOU!