Nasreen Khan on the Subantarctic island reserve of Marion Island. Picture: Daily Vox

DURBAN: FROM the often freezing conditions of Marion Island to the balmy breezes of the Seychelles is quite a leap, but for Durban’s Nasreen Khan, it’s all in a day’s work.
On Marion Island, in the lower Atlantic Ocean, she monitored wildlife like seals and whales. She has now been appointed as a conservation officer on the island of Aride, in the Seychelles, not far from the main island of Mahe.

For her, this switch in focus is not too much of a leap of faith. “What is similar to Marion Island is that there are only eight people living on Aride. None of them are civilians. It is just the manager and the conservation officers,” she explained.

Asked what she would be doing there, she said there are different monitoring programmes on the island. These involve monitoring the coral reefs, the turtles and the birds.

“I will be involved in all of them but also able to run a personal project.” She says she already has various ideas but will be able to solidify these once arriving there and assessing their feasibility, timeline and her work schedule.

She is considering studying the pollution effect of microplastics and also an in-depth study on turtles. To do this, she says she will have to speak to supervisors in South Africa about collecting data, keeping notes, etc.

Khan said she had applied to the Seychelles to become a conservation officer in the middle of last year and confirmation had come earlier this year.

“I feel so excited,” she enthused. I’ll be able to experience a new place, a completely different climate to Marion Island, work with different animals and get to learn about a different eco-system.”

SUNDAY TRIBUNE