A Day in the Life of a Researcher in Search of Rats

Atalaia beach and rock pool

The last twenty-four hours on Fernando de Noronha have been non-stop, non-sleep, and action filled, and not just because it’s been Carnival in Brazil. While the huge influx of tourists enjoy a long holiday break, we’re hard at work on our survey of invasive rats and other species on this tropical island.

We woke first thing early in the morning to visit Atalaia, a huge natural rock infinity pool only accessible at low-tide which contains an immense diversity of marine life.

Access to Atalaia is by advance reservation only and visits are strictly limited to small groups for only 30 minutes at a time, and monitored by the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio). As we take our turn dozens of other tourists are queuing, hoping to secure a spot many days in advance. In the crystal clear waters of the pool we count many of the different fish of the island.

The rock pool that emerges at low tide on Atalaia beach contains an immense diversity of marine life. (Photo by James Russell)

After this we head down a dirt road in the afternoon to an isolated native forest patch to set up what it seems should be a simple —> Read More Here


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