An interns farewell

Chloe Brookes
14 June 2016

My six-month South African adventure has come to an end. I travelled to Plettenberg Bay to learn how to survey and monitor shorebirds but I never expected to also experience such a variety of other conservation research. From bird ringing to seine netting I have come away with many fond and unexpected memories. If I had to pick a favourite project, it would be the pelagic trips monitoring the fish and predator populations in the area. I not only got to see amazing wildlife, including the Yellow nosed albatross, a great white shark and the blows from several Bryde’s whales, but I also found escaping from land very peaceful. 

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The majority of the fieldwork I took part in was on the White fronted Plover project.  As well as the surveying and monitoring techniques I learnt, watching the birds for hours at a time allowed me to recognise their behaviours and learn their individual characteristics and I came to feel very attached to these birds. 

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The last three weeks of my trip were spent in environmental education. I very much enjoyed working with the EE team and learnt a lot in such a short space of time. I especially enjoyed planning and facilitating our own lesson on pollution during biodiversity week. 

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As with any experience its only as good as the people you spend it with, and during my time in Plettenberg Bay I worked and socialised with some people who I’m sure will be life long friends. 

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