The Honourable Easton Farrell, Minister of Agriculture, came down to the holding facility today and officially welcomed home the mountain chickens.
Minister Farrell gave a speech to thank everyone involved with bringing back Montserrat’s critically endangered species and implored people not to be tempted to hunt them. The speech was broadcast on the local radio station several times: radio is the main method for communicating news on island, so news of the arrival of the mountain chickens was shared with all of Montserrat (and with many Montserratians off-island who listen to Montserrat radio via the internet).
Meanwhile, back in the forest…
Some of the frogs have been implanted with tiny transmitters so that we can track them once they have been released. So, to practice finding signals using our tracking equipment, volunteers Izzy and Payana, Project Manager Matt Morton, and Primary Field Assistant Calvin ‘Blacka’ Fenton took a ‘dummy’ transmitter and the tracking equipment to the release site. They started off with simple ‘hide and seek’ exercises to get the hang of finding signals and honing in on the direction. The hide and seek challenges progressively got harder and harder until Blacka did a ‘proper test’ of where a frog is likely to hide… he hid it in the most inaccessible rock crevice imaginable above a big pool of water! But it was found (eventually).
From getting used the equipment in this manner the team has become well practiced for when tracking commences once the frogs are released.
– Isabel Jones