Thursday, October 8, 2009

Turtle talk revamped!

Every year, in preparation for the nestings season, Elke spends most of September carrying out training with hotel staff from the various Resorts’ that MCSS works with. The training has two parts: one general presentation for all interested staff to raise awareness about turtles and another targeted at the turtle officers, refreshing their knowledge on monitoring methods used in Seychelles.
Elke hoping to inspire staff from Banyan Tree to help with the turtle conservation effort, Photo Caterina Schlott.

Every year, without fail somebody will fall asleep during the training session, which means that each year, Elke spends at least a week beforehand trying to spice up the hour long powerpoint presentation. This year, having attended the Turtle workshop during the WIOMSA symposium, Elke was well prepared to wow her audience.

A short video from Hatchling Productions in Australia was incorporated into the Turtle Awareness Talks, which meant that a number of slides had to be ruthlessly removed. Elke also introduced Tiny the Turtle to aid in explaining the MCSS Turtle Watchers Code of Conduct through role playing.

Tiny the turtle was a big hit, photo Elke Talma

As for the Turtle Monitoring Training, well, Elke got hold of a carapace from Ministry of Environment to help show how a nesting turtle should be approached and measured (again role playing!) – it was disconcerting to find that, as witnessed in Reunion, people were not consistent in their method of measuring, despite the annual refresher training.

Carapace sponsored by MENRT helps reinforce the correct measuring protocol used by the MCSS Turtle Team, photo Elke Talma

As for wowing her audience, at least one person fell asleep during each of the 11 presentations this September......

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