07 Feb Meet the Ebony Forest team: Adisha Sewydal
7 February 2023
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Our gal Adisha is a powerful and determined lady, with a mind to match. She’s a swiss army knife, ready for action!
Need help with GIS, then Adisha is our go to girl. Having completed a BSc in Agriculture, Adisha went on to pursue a career in conservation. She’s an all-rounder with experience in plant restoration and propagation, nursery management, bird and reptile conservation. Adisha worked as a warden on the offshore island of Round Island, on the Echo Parakeet team and on the Cuckoo-shrike project for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation for 6 years. She knows all there is about the endemic and Endangered Cuckoo-shrike. Adisha’s position was part funded by grants from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and is currently co-funded by Fondation Franklinia.
What lead you to a career in conservation?
Inspiring stories of restoration projects. The sense of adventure on the job.
I went with the flow. The job satisfaction is addictive. Anything to get me away from an office job. The job has a baseline of hiking, I mean… come onnnn.
What does a typical week look like for you?
No two weeks are the same. You never get bored. A lot of exploring and plant identification, sometimes a whole week of training but I try to get a balance between field work and desk work. As part of the Fondation Franklinia project I spend my time mapping mature trees, searching for rare seedlings, training the Site Supervisors at Montagne Longue and Vallée De L’Est in plant identification and I am just about to visit local primary and secondary schools to share with them my passion for all things forests and why she should be concerned that so little native forest remains.
Scaling heights to access and monitor an Echo Parakeet nest box.
What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing a job in conservation?
It will be an experience of a lifetime, something you will never forget but know what you are getting yourself into first. Conservation involves a lot of physical work and strain, it’s not just watching birds and recording data. But it’s all for a good cause and you meet some great people. You can also travel throughout the world following your passion.
What’s your favourite animal? / plant?
I prefer plants, though I do work with both. Plants are majestic and have stories of hundreds of years. Plus they don’t move making it easier to find them!
This is perhaps why Adisha aspires to be a tortoise! 😉
Where is your favourite place?
Either in the forest or on a mountain top, where it is peaceful.
Do you have any superpowers?
Every conservationist is a superhero of nature, so yeah, we all have superpowers. We like to call ourselves The Avengers.
Mosquitos or Mouche jaunes?
Neither, can someone please work on an eradication program of these insects?
Do you ever get depressed with the state of conservation in the world?
Certainly. There are countless articles of how biodiversity and humanity are doomed. But the hard work and passion from my fellow conservationists overshadows all that. People dedicate their whole lives to saving species that are unknown to the rest of the world and there is still hope.
A Round Island boa, the last endemic snake in Mauritius, getting friendly with Adisha.
If you were an animal in Mauritius, what animal would you be and why?
The epitome of laziness in the tropics, Tortoise!
[Clearly we have a herd of tortoises in the Ebony Forest, as if you recall Denis, also aspires to be one!]
Meet Adisha during one of our training courses, tree planting days or volunteering with the Ebony Forest conservation team. Fondation Franklinia is a non-profit organisation supporting the conservation of endangered tree species worldwide, and is supporting Ebony Forest in the restoration of 40 hectares of endemic forest at four sites throughout Mauritius: Ebony Forest, Vallée De L’Est, Providence and Montagne Longue.