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The Journey of Species Survival is Durrell's main tool for planning and tracking how we deliver our mission of saving species from extinction. We monitor each species through 13 management stages and four main phases as our actions drive its population recovery from the brink of extinction back to safer levels.

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Phase I: Assessment & Planning

Phase I: Assessment & Planning

The first phase of the survival journey focuses on gathering the information required to plan our approach to effectively manage the recovery of the species.

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment

1976

Gerald Durrell visits Round Island for the first time and observes the devastating impact of invasive herbivores on the native vegetation describing the island as a “moonscape”. The threat of goats and rabbits to the endemic reptile fauna is documented, including the decline of the snakes and he begins discussions with the government about establishing a captive population of Round Island boas as a safety net.

About the Rapid assessment stage
Field missions are used to assess species conservation status, key threats and initial actions needed to kick start the programme.

Rapid response

Rapid response

1977

Gerald Durrell and Conservation Director John Hartley return to Round Island and at the request of the Government of Mauritius and collect boas from Round Island to establish a captive breeding programme in Jersey. A total of four boas are collected over two trips to the island as the first was cut short by an impending cyclone.

About the Rapid response stage
If extinction risk is very high, captive breeding programmes or rapid field interventions might be used to avert an immediate risk of extinction.

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement

1984

Durrell and the International Council for Bird Preservation sign a memorandum of agreement with the Government of Mauritius to implement conservation actions in Mauritius. Through this agreement Durrell contact the New Zealand Wildlife Service (now Department of Conservation) to remove rabbits from Round Island. Durrell also assists in the formation of the local NGO, the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation.

About the Stakeholder engagement stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Full assessment

Full assessment

1989

Durrell staff member Simon Tonge visits Round Island to conduct initial surveys of the Round Island boa and other endemic species to estimate the recovery following the removal of invasive herbivores. The Round Island boa does show a slight increase in encounter rate but data was not sufficient to estimate overall population size.

About the Full assessment stage
Intensive research into ecological, environmental and socio-ecological factors affecting the species provides a baseline to inform the planning stage.

Planning & partnership

Planning & partnership

2006

The Mauritius Reptile Restoration Programme is formed including partners from Durrell, MWF and the National Parks & Conservation Science of the Government of Mauritius. Through the programme a Darwin Initiative grant is secured and plans to restore the reptile community on Gunner’s Quoin to support a new Round Island boa population are initiated.

About the Planning and partnership stage
Conservation targets and detailed action plans are developed to guide the programme's efforts. Partnerships and governance are also outlined to ensure the programme remains on track.

Phase II: Intensive Care

Phase II: Intensive Care

This phase involves the testing and implementation of intensive management actions to tackle the main threats to a species in order to stabilise its population and promote recovery. It often requires the most resources as it lays the foundation for a species’ long-term recovery.

Trialling actions

Trialling actions

2014

The first reintroduction of 60 boas to Gunner’s Quoin is successfully completed. Close monitoring is being conducted to determine whether the main prey, the Telfair’s skink, is abundant enough to support the boas but the discovery of juvenile snakes on the island is evidence that the population is established and increasing.

About the Trialling actions stage
Conservation actions are tested on the ground, results are monitored and techniques are adapted to develop effective management actions.

Scaling up actions

Scaling up actions

Ongoing

Monitoring and restoration of other offshore island reptile communities will continue until another site capable of supporting a third population of Round Island boas is confirmed and a second translocation can be conducted.

About the Scaling up actions stage
Once effective management actions are developed they can be rolled out across the intervention zone.

Intensive management

Future target

About the Intensive management stage
After actions have been scaled up they are then intensively implemented to bring primary threats under control, enabling the start of the species' recovery.

Adaptive management

Future target

About the Adaptive management stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Phase III: Long-term Management

Phase III: Long-term Management

Once a species reaches this phase the population recovery is well underway but the sustainability and long-term robustness of the programme needs to be ensured.

Minimum management

Future target

About the Minimum management stage
Moving towards sustainability, the intensive actions are scaled back to minimum levels of effort required to meet conservation targets.

Capacity-building

Future target

About the Capacity-building stage
The capacity building activities within the programme enter the final stage and local partner(s) lead the strategic and operational management of programme.

Final evaluation

Future target

About the Final evaluation stage
A detailed programme evaluation reviews progress towards conservation targets, final responsibilities are passed onto local partners and a new long-term action plan is agreed.

Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase IV: Watching Brief

This phase signals the exit point for Durrell as a species reaches the end of its survival journey.

Watching brief

Future target

About the Watching brief stage
Durrell steps back from the programme and provides technical support to local partners on request.

Population numbers

1976


Rapid assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1977


Rapid response


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1984


Stakeholder engagement


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1989


Full assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

2006


Planning & partnership


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

2014


Trialling actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

Ongoing


Scaling up actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future target


Intensive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future target


Adaptive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Future target


Minimum management


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future target


Capacity-building


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future target


Final evaluation


Phase III: Long-term Management

Future target


Watching brief


Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase I


Assessment
& Planning


Stages 1 - 5

Phase II


Intensive
Care


Stages 6 - 9

Phase III


Long-term Management


Stages 10 - 12

Phase IV


Watching
Brief


Stage 13