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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 it as a “moonscape”. The threat of the invasive species to the endemic reptile fauna is documented, including the decline of the snakes, and he begins discussions with the Government of Mauritius about establishing a captive population of Round Island boas.

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

1976

During his visit to Round Island, Gerald Durrell collects 14 Telfair’s skinks which return with him to Jersey to establish the first global captive breeding programme.

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 Telfair’s skink and other endemic species to estimate the recovery following the removal of invasive herbivores. It is estimated that the population of Telfair’s skink has increased as much as 114% since the rabbits were removed from the island.

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, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and the National Parks & Conservation Service. Through the programme, a Darwin Initiative grant is secured and plans to restore the reptile community structure on Gunner’s Quoin are implemented by translocating the first group of Telfair’s skinks.

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

2006

Following surveys to assess the suitability of the habitat following invasive species removal, the first 39 Telfair’s skinks are successfully released on Ile aux Aigrettes as part of a trial.

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

2007

Following the successful of a trial release of Telfair’s skinks to Ile aux Aigrettes, a further 221 skinks are released onto the island. The same year, a group of 221 skinks are also released onto the recently restored Gunner’s Quoin. Once this population is robust it will support the reintroduction of the endangered native predator, the Round Island boa.

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

Intensive management

Intensive management

2012

The Telfair’s skink population on Gunner’s Quoin is estimated at 5,534 individuals and is considered robust enough to sustain a population of Round Island boas as part of the continuation of the restoration of the native reptile community. A further 100 skinks from Round Island are also released onto Gunner’s Quoin to secure genetic viability.

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

Adaptive management

Ongoing

Surveys confirm a genetically viable sub-population has been successfully established on Gunner’s Quoin and is supporting the newly introduced population of the endemic Round Island boa. Management of the Ile aux Aigrettes sub-population continues with headstarting methods used to mitigate the impacts of the invasive shrews. Research shows that more than 700 skinks are needed on Ile aux Aigrettes to apply enough pressure to eradicate the shrews and to boost skink population growth.

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

1976


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

2006


Trialling actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

2007


Scaling up actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

2012


Intensive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

Ongoing


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