Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

Training of volunteers for the Thrasher Squad in Martinique!

After a first trapping test phase in April, the Martinique Regional Natural Park (PNRM) organized, on May 28 and 29, a theoretical and practical training session on the Caravelle peninsula with the aim of training volunteers to become the next Thrasher Squad!

Thrasher squad training in the field © Tom GANGNOU / VIAATV

What is the Thrasher Squad?

The Thrasher Squad is a participatory system allowing volunteers to invest in the protection of the White-breasted thrasher, an emblematic bird of Martinique. Mainly threatened by the presence of introduced predators such as the rat or the small Indian mongoose on its territory, the PNRM teams set up A24 mechanical traps and cages on the site to reduce their populations and improve the chances of survival of the White-breasted Thrasher.

Currently, at some sites, 100% of White-breasted Thrasher nests are predated. It is therefore essential to act to protect the species.

As volunteers, they provide support to professionals to ensure the smooth running of operations: setting up equipment, monitoring predators, collecting data on specific forms, etc.

White-breasted Thrasher © Pierre CROUZIER

Review of the first training

The Thrasher Squad training offered by the PNRM has several objectives:

  • Make the general public aware of the challenges of preserving the White-breasted Thrasher in Martinique.
  • Involve the local population and perpetuate the actions carried out on the ground by the PNRM and its partners in favor of the species.
  • Introduce participants to the main missions of the Thrasher Squad: setting up equipment, monitoring predation, collecting data, etc.

A very positive result for this first training:

  • 2 mornings of practical training
  • 32 registered volunteers
  • 51 people receiving theoretical training
  • 11 people present during the practical training

Thrasher Squad training in the field © Renaud LEROUX