Stephanie Winton is WPC’s current New Noah. Stephanie’s first stop is the 3-month long Endangered Species Management course at the Durrell Conservation Academy in Jersey, UK, followed by a practical placement on the island of Mauritius.

Jersey, Channel Islands – After almost two years of waiting, it is wonderful to finally be in Jersey; the first stop on my New Noah journey and my home for the next three months as I participate in the Durrell Endangered Species Management course along with nine other students from around the world.

Travelling to a new country during covid was surprisingly smooth sailing (although not everyone had an easy time getting here) and we are able to have in-person classes again. It has felt extra special to be the first Noah to travel in these new times as everyone at the Durrell Conservation Academy and Jersey Zoo is delighted to welcome the ‘DESMAN’ students back. I’m cherishing the forgotten pleasures of going new places and meeting new people as I get to know my classmates through swapping stories about our home countries and exploring the island together.

The 2022 DESMAN class showing off their ‘Facilitation and Communication Specialist’ certificates.

The Pink Pigeon was saved from only 16 birds left in the wild through innovative hands-on approaches by dedicated individuals like Carl Jones.

There is a lot to learn in a short amount of time and we have certainly started out with a bang!

The one and only Professor Carl Jones, renowned for saving the Mauritian kestrel from the brink of extinction, shared stories of lessons learned over a lifetime of conserving some of the world’s most endangered species and restoring rare ecosystems. You can’t help but be uplifted by Carl’s positivity, and encouragingly, many of his principles for successful conservation programs are practiced by Wildlife Preservation Canada.

Feeling inspired to tackle tough conservation challenges, we jumped into back-to-back workshops on facilitating, planning, and managing conservation projects – the perfect opportunity to practice and build upon the species conservation planning skills I’ve gained through the Canadian Species Initiative.

Any chance I get between classes, I pop next door to visit the animals at the Jersey Zoo. Every time I see species from Mauritius like the Round Island skink, Rodrigues fruit bat, and pink pigeon, I get a frisson of excitement and can’t wait to hopefully encounter them in the wild.

When not in class or at the zoo, I’m out hiking along the cliff path on the north coast of the island – the views are stunning!

Until next time,

Practicing our project planning skills using the Conservation Standards principles for effective conservation.

The Round Island skink, one of Mauritius’s remaining endemic reptiles.

Weekend adventures with fellow DESMAN students.

Follow Stephanie’s journey as Canada’s New Noah.

Check back often for new blog updates. In the meantime, check out the other great work being done by WPC to save some of Canada’s most endangered species.