It was a tense day yesterday. We knew the mountain chickens due for the next release were in the air winging their way to Montserrat but what were we going to find out once we opened those boxes?? We were all very excited when we go the call to say they had landed and Jervaine and Big Lloyd from the forestry department were ready to help us with their pick-up trucks. We attracted quite a crowd who were all keen to see the frogs arrive safely but we had to get them to the temporary facilities first.
Once the vet Rudolph had given us the go ahead, the crates were whisked off to be opened up and inspected. The team got ready to be a well oiled machine so we could get the frogs out and into the ponds as quick as possible. Then we held our breaths as the first box was open only to be met by a bouncing, wriggling, feisty mountain chicken. They didn’t even seem tired from the flight. All was well!
All then cracked down to work with the very helpful assistance of Llotese, Llovonne and Sidney, the kids of Lloydie and Stephen from the Department of Environment, who are keen nature enthusiasts. The frogs were weighed, checked by Javier (the vet from Durrell) and then placed in a nutrient bath for 25 minutes to help them recover from the flight. Once bathed and kicking around impatiently in the bags to be let out into their new temporary homes we released the frogs into the ponds where they quickly settled down in the leaf litter.
Whilst all this was going on Ben Baker from Chester zoo and Nadine Wohl our new volunteer were busy checking the crickets to make sure no females had accidentily arrived. It is important that we only bring over the male crickets so that if any accidentally escape they cannot breed in the wild and start a new population.
So once all 33 frogs were processed and the crickets were checked and fed the team could relax. I want to say a huge thank you to all those who helped us get the frogs safely out here. From Andrew, Wendy, Dan and Matt back in Jersey, to Lloydie, Blacka, Jenny and the forestry staff in Montserrat, to Gerardo, Javier and Matt and everyone else involved. I think we should all be very proud of how smoothly everything went and that the frogs have arrived safe and sound. A testomy to this was as we were leaving the facility last night, the mountain chickens has already begun to call!!! 🙂
–Sarah-Louise Smith, Project Coordinator