Wildlife clubs team up to help protect the Vev



Prior to the activity, Josianna Rose from the Veuve Information Centre had the opportunity to tell the children more about the species and research done through a short talk and a very interactive presentation.

The activity was made possible through the good collaboration between the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles and the Seychelles National Park Authority in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Department of Environment.
This initiative forms part of a series of activities under the SGP/GEF funded project awarded to the WCS to engage more children, youth and other members of the communities in practical actions to help endangered species and other local biodiversity. 

Ms Rose from the Vev Information Centre telling the children more about the species and research done  

Such activity is carried out to raise public awareness of the species and the habitats they share together with members in the communities, the impacts of habitat destruction and benefits of restoration and conservation work.
According to WCS coordinator Terence Vel  “the aim was to get more community members engaged in local habitat and species restoration activities”, hence the involvement of 25 young and dynamic  volunteers in the recent activity in the Vev reserve.

The recent activity was also an occasion for Wildlife club members to have a chance to voice out their opinions concerning endangered species and their spaces. Through this they also learned about the efforts being taken to prevent the risk of the Vev from becoming extinct.

“I have never been in the Vev reserve so I was delighted to be part of the team. Though the weather was bad, we made it through and accomplished what we came to do,” says one member.

Gathering information on the Vev

“Therefore, despite obstacles such as the weather, WCS has been running these activities since August 2010 and has recorded success in every activity done. We still have up to May 2012 to complete the project,” says Mr Vel.

So far this year, many school based Wildlife clubs have been organising endangered species activities involving over 600 children, leaders, teachers and parents. Participants are learning more about the problem and how they affect some of Seychelles’ endemic plants and animal species, the importance of and threats to their habitats.
In the Vev reserve information centre the participants were introduced to many facts and figures regarding La Digue western coastal plateau, woodland areas and human activities taking place in these areas.

Habitat loss caused by human activities is so far the most serious threat to the survival of the Vev. Both the Vev and people prefer coastal plateau woodland areas to live.

Restoration work in the Vev Reserve (WCS members)

As they assimilated such information, the club members also suggested ways to reduce our harmful actions to the Vev habitat. They also wrote some key messages which will be placed in the areas that they have adopted and where they have planted over 60 native trees. Such messages include:

• We can work together to ensure that the flycatcher population on La Digue remains.

• The flycatcher is losing its habitat, and if no action is taken, will die out completely.

• By protecting the flycatcher and its habitat, we are protecting other species.

• We can still live alongside the flycatcher. People and wildlife can coexist.

The Vev, or Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, is endemic to Seychelles, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world.

It is Seychelles’ most threatened bird species and it is listed as critically endangered (the highest risk category) by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). A lot of scientific work has been carried out on the Vev and these facts and figures can be used as a way of educating people about this species. The Vev has a 50% risk of becoming extinct within the next 10 years.

Therefore conservation action and education within the community on La Digue is still needed to continue improve the situation as it appears that the habitants are still creating situations that may lead to its extinction. However, there are certain groups of young people in the La Digue volleyball and other clubs who are very much involved in the conservation of the Vev through adoption of specific areas in the Vev reserve.

Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles would like to thanks all partners for their usual support to promote conservation through education 

Contributed by Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles and SNPA


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