After one month in Southern Pohnpei with the Enipein community, my time in the jungle is up. I bid farewell to my “brother” Teraul and the rest of my wonderful host-family, then delivered my conservation management plan to the Woun Kepin Soamwoai Nature Conservancy, sent my grant proposal to the Municipal Government of Kitti, distributed my Ridge-to-Reef educational PowerPoint to the Community Conservation Officers, and presented the village chief with my Enipein Ecotourism outreach brochure. I left my injured bird, Elvis, in the caring hands of some village friends who agreed to continue my efforts of nursing him back to health, and gave my adopted stray dog, Kovu, one final pat as I left Enipein and the jungle behind me.
I am now heading north to the town of Kolonia at the opposite end of the island. There I am living with the “Rohsa” (king) and his family, who privately own Ant Atoll, which is the site of my next project. For the rest of my stay I will be working in conjunction with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, The Nature Conservancy, and Pohnpei’s Department of Land and Natural Resources towards the establishment of a sustainable conservation management plan for Ant Atoll. In addition to the management plan, the king and I have discussed the development of an informative PowerPoint and promotional video, showcasing the conservation successes that Ant atoll has attained, in an effort to gain support and funding for the sustained survival of this rare and beautiful biodiversity hotspot.
A boat ride and pod of dolphins later, I find myself on Ant Atoll where I will be exploring the white sand beaches, the turquoise waters, and the astounding coral reefs for the next week. I will provide more insight on Ant upon my return to the main island. Until then, check out this article by The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the conservation efforts on Ant Atoll. Thanks for reading!