This is Ellyn, the new Species Monitoring Officer at INCC, who will be working with us through August to help carry out tasks on some of INCC’s main projects.
Ellyn is a Biology student at the University of Exeter and has just completed her industrial placement year at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, where she has already been helping us with rearing the Marsh Fritillary caterpillars ready for reintroduction at Llantrisant Common.
“I have always enjoyed being outdoors, immersed in nature and wildlife, and am very lucky that my choice of degree is allowing me to pursue a career in an area of science that I am really interested in and passionate about.
Having had most of my university education disrupted by the pandemic, there haven’t been many opportunities for field work and developing practical skills. However, my placement year has more than made up for this, with plenty of opportunities for both lab and field based work. I greatly enjoyed my year at the Botanic Garden and have learnt so much during my time there.
So, when the opportunity arose to undertake an internship at INCC, I jumped at the chance as I knew this would give me great experience in the field of conservation and allow me to further develop my skills in undertaking practical conservation work. I would also be able to contribute to causes that I feel passionately about, helping to restore populations of endangered species and increasing biodiversity in Wales.
I have already been helping at the community wildlife garden in Garnant, planting out ragged-robin and watering the plants in the polytunnel. Watering and replenishing the devil’s-bit scabious in the marsh fritillary rearing pens will be another of my main responsibilities this month, making sure that the hundreds of caterpillars don’t go hungry.
I am also looking forward to conducting larval web surveys at Llantrisant Common in the coming weeks to monitor the breeding success of the marsh fritillaries released last September – butterflies were recorded mating and laying eggs on the common in June, so I am excited to see whether these have successfully hatched.
I will also be helping with wildflower meadow restoration in the Amman Valley, and assisting Species Officer, Vaughn, with wildlife surveys. So, I have a very busy and exciting month to come!”Ellyn