Having had a few nights of peace and quiet in the temporary ponds, it was time to release the first half of the captive-bred mountain chickens into their new home. The team mobilised to get the chosen frogs ready for release. They needed to be identified, swabbed and have the transmitters checked for the radio tracking before being placed into cloth bags and boxed up to be transported to the release site.
Bringing mountain chickens back to their naural habitat is a big deal here in Montserrat so
there was a big reception waiting for the frogs at the release site including many of the Montserrat media, the Director of the Department of Environment, Mr Gerard Gray, and the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Easton Farrell. The Honorable Minister gave an inspiring speech at the release site before helping the team place the frogs into the camping tents. The tents were set up at three points in the forest for the three different release sites to help acclimatise the frogs to the forest before their release.
The Minister was not the only ones helping us with the frogs. The children decided they wanted to help as well. Knowing the importance of getting the younger generations on board if we want to protect this species long term, it was very endearing to see these kids getting stuck in and learning the basics.
A fanatastic day was had by all and with a few showers falling this eve, the frogs are calling happily away in their new home. With the last release due tomorrow it will then be up to the project team and volunteers to begin the phase of radio-tracking these released mountain chickens so that we can continue to learn from them and hopefully gain more information about how we are going to help save this species in the future.
– Sarah-Louise Smith, Project Coordinator