Zanzibar Marine Conservation Area Project
The Chumbe Island Conservation Area Project has been established with the aim to closely study marine species and its surrounded environment – Volunteers will assist and produce meaningful and useful data which can be incorporated into other academic research projects. The Project is based in Chumbe Island Conservation Area – a huge, private Island of 70,000 different Marine Species and home to the largest population of giant coconut crabs on Private Island in Zanzibar.
Our Volunteers will investigate and conduct a research in Chumbe Island Conservation Area about the colorful coral reefs which contain species of corals providing a sanctuary for more than 70,000 Species of colorful fishes. To protect those coral reefs, diving is not permitted in the marine Conservation Area. The reef is shallow enough to see everything very clearly with a mask, snorkel and fins.
Venturing out on foot or in a dedicated swimming gears, the Volunteer Coordinator plans the days to ensure that data is recorded on each of the marine species and the various habitats in the coral-rag forest which is the home to the endangered Ader’s Duiker, giant coconut crabs, hermit crabs and a variety of bird species. The project focuses on the following:
Additionally, the volunteers collect data on general walk, birds, vegetation mapping and tropical tree population and growth. We can also include a specific focus to our Project, as requested by these research projects -maybe mapping a specific tree species or more specific information on feeding habits of one animal species. Coral-rag forest skills of identifying marine species and birds and their behavior, tree and plant identification and the interrelation between all of these is explained and taught by the Coordinator as well as the art of Tracking – such a valuable skill in finding marine species and understanding their behavior.
Telemetry is an invaluable asset in locating our Marine species, Fishes and coral species and is used to great effect day and night, giving both incredible viewing opportunities and the chance to record valuable data on marine species behavior.
The data collected is added to our database which is periodically distributed to ongoing academic research projects both in this area and elsewhere, furthering mans knowledge of marine life areas and the behavior of the marine species living therein.
The project director sits as a trustee of Children in the marine life, the coral-rag forest, and through this trust Chumbe Island Conservation Area works with and supports children from the local communities, inspiring them to care for and protect their natural heritage. We are actively involved within the schools and sponsor and operate 5-night Island stay for the local children, developing an interest and passion for conservation in them and nurturing leaders to become custodians of these fragile ecosystems in the future.
All profits from tourism on Chumbe Island are reinvested into the conservation and education programs operating in the Conservation Area, and the Island is staffed and managed by local Zanzibar Peoples from the fishing communities with voluntary support from overseas experts.