Temporal Protected Areas Project

This project was originally a component of the large project funded by the Global Environment Facility ‘Strengthening Seychelles’ Protected Area System through NGO Management Modalities’. The component implemented by MCSS was to test an innovative approach to managing marine protected species in critical habitats which are outside the current management of the Protected Area system.

The project started in July 2011 and aimed to test the establishment of “temporal protected areas (TPAs)” in critical habitats, to secure the ongoing protection of highly mobile marine vertebrates. The concept of TPAs is that they are transient conservation areas based on the critical habitats used by these marine vertebrates. These habitats are often affected by seasonal, environmental and physical cues and may be temporary in time, extent and geographic location. The project has focused on the testing of this conservation approach in two marine vertebrate groups – turtles and whale sharks – which are known to have temporary critical habitats (turtles- nesting & foraging areas; whale sharks- zooplankton blooms) close to shore.

The project has accessed the historical data collected by MCSS and analysed it with reference to seasonal cues that were likely to affect these species, as well as capturing current data and looking for any changing trends due to seasonal changes being experienced.

The project original project was successfully completed in June 2015; the data have been evaluated to establish the criteria to trigger the setting up of TPAs and their extent in both time and area. The formal implementation of TPAs was supported from 2016 under the GoS-GEF-UNDP ‘Protected Areas Sustainable Financing Project’. The new Protected Areas Legislation has been enacted and the TPA nominations will be updated during 2020 and implemented under the Ridge to Reef project currently in progress.

Volunteers are welcome on this project, please complete a volunteer application form and send it through to us. For the latest information please visit our turtle monitoring BLOG and our Facebook page.

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