After a whirlwind three weeks, the final week of which will remain hazy due to a combination of food poisoning and my phone falling into a river, my time in Madagascar has come to an end. 

Although my trip was chalk full of incredible wildlife and even more incredible people, I feel like I barely scratched the surface of the Red Island. I also want to take a moment to thank all those I met with Durrell Madagascar, without whom this trip would have been half as exciting and twice as difficult.

Whether you were helping me navigate the streets of Tana, showing me the ins-and-outs of tortoise conservation, or giving me a glimpse into the tough world of giant jumping rat research, you were the reason this trip was so special. Thanks!

The Boabab tree is an iconic part of the Madagascar landscape.

Leaving Madagascar (and having just dropped my phone into the river) makes for a sad New Noah.

Now it’s time for the prelude to end and the real adventure to begin!

I’ll be trading in Madagascar’s baobabs for the blue ringed islands of Mauritius. The next six months will be spent planting critically endangered plants, controlling invasive species, and monitoring the recovery of endemic animal species with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation’s (MWF) Island Restoration Team. While our crew prepares for our next expedition to the remote islet of Round Island, I’ll be getting to know the local flora and fauna by spending time on the much closer Ile Aux Aigrettes, soaking up as much knowledge as I can.

The pink pigeon, once listed as Critically Endangered, has been brought back from the brink of extinction largely thanks to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

An Aldabra Giant Tortoise on Ile Aux Aigrettes. This introduced species fills the niche once occupied by the now extinct Mauritian Giant Tortoise.

Although I’ve only been here for a short amount of time, I’m already blown away by the incredible uniqueness of this country and the hard-working biologists working to protect it. This is just the beginning folks and I cannot wait to share my adventures with you over the next few months. Stay tuned!

– Eric