What we learned from our Eco-Retreat

This article is written by a student from Loreto College Curepipe (LCC) in Mauritius, through which she shares what she learned from the eco-retreat that was organized by LCC in July 2014 to La Vallee de Ferney.

The Kestrel

 The kestrel in an endemic bird of Mauritius. They are to be found ononly some parts of the island like; LA VALLEE DE FERNEY, BLACK RIVER GORGES. Today fortunately, a population of around 400-500 kestrel species exists in Mauritius. The female kestrel is usually bigger than the male kestrel. The Kestrel is of 20-26cm in length. An interesting thing that all of us got to know is that, “the female kestrel will not lay her eggs, unless her companion, the male kestrel accepts to take up the responsibilities of a father”. Isn’t that interesting? Actually we are looking forward to look for a ‘male kestrel type’ husband.


The “Bois D’olivre” Tree

This tree reaches 3 to 10 meters high with a stem of between 30 to 90 cm. The leaves are long and thin in the early stages of growth but then become broad leaves in older trees.. The “bois d’olivre” tree are still commonly found in the indigenous forests of Mauritius and Rodrigues. The young leaves of the “bois d’olivre” have red veins so that the tortoise does not eat them. .But as they grow they change colour–that is why the tortoise had a long neck to be able to grab the leaves which in the upper part of the plant– a good example of adaptation!

Bois d'Olivre Tree

A parasitic plant

A parasitic plant is one that derives some or all of its nutritional requirements from another living plant. All parasitic plants have special organs, named haustoria, which connect them to the conductive system of their host and provide them with the ability to extract water and nutrient from the hosts. These parasitic plants need to be cut down since they are harmful to the environment.

Parasitic Plant Mauritius

 also got the chance to see a fell down tree growing upwards by the attraction of the sunshine. It was so amazing and wonderful.

Valley de Ferney

Our experience

Actually, we had had a very good time together. It was a very nice and tiresome adventure. I got the chance to see the beautiful Kestrel and even deers. We discovered many plants, about which we learned a lot of things. One thing that I noticed when we all closed our eyes and kept silent for a few minutes, was that I could only hear the sound of the flowing water of the river and not the chippings of birds. And the great mystery behind this was that we were making too much noise.

In short, it was a wonderful, tiresome and very beneficial (for our knowledge).

Written by Raksha Seewooruttun (student), July 2014.

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