Round Island is a small reserve 22km from the Mauritian mainland. It is one of the few islands in the world where rats have never made it to but unfortunately rabbits and goats did as a food source for shipwrecked sailors. They almost decimated the local flora and with it the fauna too. Round Island was the last place on earth where the telfairs skink, durrells night gecko, gunthers gecko, and round island keel scaled boa and round island boa burrowing boa where found. Telfair, gunthers and the boa have been translocated in recent years to other islands but unfortunately the burrowing boa has not been seen since 1975. The keel scaled boa is in the top 5 rarest snakes in the world and I would often find them in my bed! In the 1980s one of my favourite conservationists and authors, Gerald Durrell helped eradicate the rabbits and goats and now the island is thriving. As well as the reptile the island is also the only place where the Round Island petrel breeds. With just 350 pairs this is an important island. Red tail and white tail tropic birds as well as wedge tailed shearwater nest here too. The seas are bountiful too full of sharks, turtles, whales dolphins and fish.
I was in charge of the day to day running of this island form reptile surveys to taking petrel blood samples, tagging snakes and fixing the field station and saw some amazing wildlife and met some great people. Expect some more photos and videos soon.
|Me and a boa|
|Telfairs loved our scrap food|
|Aldabra tortoise and me|