Freshwater ecosystems have undergone a 90% reduction in Seychelles and are considered Endangered/Critically Endangered per the global criteria for Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). These areas remain under documented and species data is lacking due to limitations in taxonomic and genetic knowledge, species identification tools and data management. JRS is pleased to support a new collaboration of Seychellois researchers with overseas experts to develop local capacity and advance biodiversity knowledge-sharing.
There is a need for sharing critical information regarding freshwater ecosystems with local policy makers, and Gaea has identified the need for publications, advocacy and outreach programs to empower stewardship, promote better planning and ecosystem management in the islands. Resulting biodiversity data will be used to support the reviews of national land use plans, to monitor the implementation of management plans, environmental projects and to inform key policy documents to adhere to national and international commitments.
Key goals for the Developing a Freshwater Biodiversity Information System for Conservation and Management in the Seychelles project include:
Goal 1: Mobilization, collation and inclusion of data to the ‘Bio Database’ and affiliated global databases. Indicators include: number of records in the ‘Bio Database’ including eDNA data; number of global databases where data is contributed; number of species proposed to the IUCN Red List; updated list of Seychelles freshwater fish, micro and macro invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, annelids, arthropods etc).
Goal 2: Exploration of under-explored sites to fill data gaps. Indicators include: the number of sites explored; number of new records in the ‘Bio Database’; number of specimens collected and preserved.
Goal 3: Build capacity of the Freshwater Biodiversity teams or participating organizations. Indicators include: equipment secured and used for surveys and inventories; number of participants trained in database management, survey techniques, eDNA sampling, species identification activities for freshwater biodiversity.
Goal 4: Raise awareness of participating organizations and the public on freshwater biodiversity. Indicators include: number of outreach materials developed and activities/events implemented; number of documentaries produced; number of articles publishede.
Project Director Biography
Dr. Elvina Henriette is a Conservation Biologist with a passion for nature conservation. Her main interest is research and conservation of the biodiversity of tropical ecosystems with the aim of addressing biodiversity loss, climate change impacts and ecosystem restoration through practical measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and biological resources. She has expertise in biodiversity inventories, restoration of degraded ecosystems and population recovery of endangered island bird populations. She is also interested in conservation education and finding ways to communicate science to the people and engaging them in environmental issues to build ecological awareness and an appreciation of their local environment.