These last two weeks have been extremely busy for the project! We’ve been joined by ZSL’s Cheska Servini, the self titled “Mountain Chicken Queen”, who is contributing 16 of ZSL’s captive bred mountain chickens to the second phase of our reintroduction project later next year.
Cheska has been joining us out in the field in the re-assessment of 15 historical mountain chicken transects scattered across the whole breadth of the island. Many of these transects have been drastically altered by extreme weather conditions, such as hurricane Maria last year, and as such we have been tasked with creating GPS maps of each transect, as well as identifying which need further maintenance or pathways remarking. This has also been a perfect opportunity for us to begin searching for any remnant mountain chicken populations in these areas, some of which haven’t been assessed for several years.
As well as being a “Mountain Chicken Queen” Cheska is also a dab hand with the breeding of mountain chicken food, in this case, invertebrates. She has been out here peer-reviewing our current insect breeding protocol and husbandry (video update to come).
She’s found plenty of time to get her hands dirty by helping in the creation of a second potential release site and joining us on our weekly trips out to fairy walk, trying to relocate the last known pair of wild mountain chickens on Montserrat.
Be sure to check out the video above to see our second potential site and just a small portion of the work that goes into assessing it’s suitability.