Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thanks for making us welcome!

MCSS would like to thank the French Embassy in Seychelles and Region Reunion for funding the recent scoping mission to Reunion Island and the Kelonia Marine Turtle Observatory under the regional cooperation agreement for marine turtle conservation. Special thanks to Michel Vely, the Technical advisor in the Nature & Conservation Division of the Ministry of Environment in Seychelles, who co-ordinated the process.

MCSS would especially like to thank all staff at Kelonia for making David and Elke feel welcome in Reunion and putting up with their appalling French! Special thanks to:
  • Stephane Ciccione, Director of Kelonia, for organising our stay in Reunion, welcoming David and Elke at Kelonia and for taking Elke to a black sand beach for a photo op!
  • Claire Jean, Project Officer at Kelonia, for translating David’s PowerPoint presentation (twice!), going through the various Kelonia projects with Elke, sharing her office and putting up with David and Elke for a week,
  • Cyrille Lebon, an MSc Student from France, for giving Elke 2 tests on turtle photo-ID!
  • Emily Richard, the assistant Public Relations Officer, for sharing information about the Public Awareness Programme at Kelonia and allowing Elke to join her with a group of school children who were visiting the facility.
  • Thierry Lauret, a Guide at Kelonia, for taking David and Elke on a tour of Kelonia on their first day.
  • Bernadin Ouaratta, Kevin Certat, David Artrigo and Alain Castle from the Turtle Care Centre for allowing Elke to play with their turtles and clean their tanks.
  • Dr Manfred Enstipp, for talking about his project on turtle respiration, sharing his experience on satellite tagging with David and letting Elke play with Elizabeth, his main test animal.

Thanks also to Claudette Donz, the Marketing Manager and GĂ©rard Trules from the IT Department at Kelonia.

Thanks also to Dr Delphine Mutz from IRD and Ifremer for explaining the techniques used in Genetics; Dr. Matthieu Lecorre for organising the symposium at the University of Reunion; Dr. Violaine Dulau from Globice, for a delicious lunch and her interesting presentation on photo ID of Cetaceans; Jean-Yves from Dodo Spot for providing accommodation and waking up early to make us breakfast; and the staff at O’Jacare in St Leu for feeding David and Elke for 5 nights out of 7 - the best scallops, raw fish, calamari and duck this side of the equator!

We look forward to a long and productive relationship helping to conserve turtles and all marine life in the Western Indian Ocean.

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