Green Gecko – a landscape for parasites, Seychelles

green gecko a landscape for parasites seychelles

Photographer’s comment: “For ten months I have worked as an ecologist on the island Mahe, in the Seychelles, on a project that quantified the impact of habitat restoration on ecosystem integrity and sustainability. One day in the field saw this little fellow (Green Gecko or Phelsuma longinsulae) sitting on a big leaf next to me and I slowly reached for my camera to take a photograph. I shot some pictures from a distance while slowly moving closer, but to my surprise it didn’t run away quickly when I came too close, or curiously came back to me to see what was going on. It just sat there looking at me, or resting his head on the side of the leaf, while my lens was just a few centimeters from his body. I thought he must be sick or insured, but except for a few scars on the skin he looked pretty healthy. It was not until I analysed the picture on my computer that I found out about the tiny red animals in his ear when I zoomed in. Sometimes we forget that each animal has its own place in the ecosystem or landscape, and even the body of one animal can be the landscape and whole world of another. With the constant pressure of a growing society, rainforest like the one the gecko and parasites live in, are threatened. Multifunctional forestry should integrate sustainable forest management with the protection of biodiversity, so future generations of gecko’s and parasites can live there too. This way the landscape will not only serve as habitats to keep biodiversity high, but also for our future generations to enjoy.”

Name of photographer: Sabrina van de Velde
Location: Mahe, Seychelles