Hello, I am Stella from Mauritius Island. Studied biology and is now a conservation biologist since 2 years. I have been working in remote areas like the national park and an islet. All year round, I meet amazing wildlife passionate volunteers from all over the world to discover a culture which is mine. Please AMA!

Stella Babooram
Jun 16, 2017

I want to share my experience to anyone who has an interest for the world of conservation.

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Are there any NGOs or companies in Mauritius that are specializing in conservation?

Jun 16, 1:32PM EDT0

Bonjour Vincent! the only non-governmental is the one i work for which is called Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. We also have the governmental part called the National Park and Conservation Service with whom we work in close collaboration.

Jun 16, 1:39PM EDT0
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Do you travel a lot in your job?

Jun 15, 8:17AM EDT0

Hello Michelle, for the moment i haven't leave my country but i meet so much foreigners daily that sometimes i forget that i am still in my own country.

Jun 16, 1:25PM EDT0

Does this job take you away from your family?

Jun 15, 6:46AM EDT0

Hello amanda, I would say that this job makes me travel without being too far from my family. I don't see them daily but we can still take cars/buses and see each other in one hour. However, it is true that i don't have time to see them as often as i want because of my unstable timetable. 

Jun 16, 1:24PM EDT0

Does anyone in your family work in this field?

Jun 14, 8:12PM EDT0

hey michael, not at all. I am even the first one to finish uni and to do a degree in my family. I don't even know if many will be able to understand the questions and answers here because english isn't my first language. 

Jun 16, 1:22PM EDT0

Do you ever have to stay up late to work?

Jun 14, 12:14PM EDT0

Hey Madison, Oh yes i do but it is so rewarding that time doesn't matter as long as the job is well done.

Jun 16, 1:21PM EDT0

Do you spend a lot of time outside in your work?

Jun 14, 3:58AM EDT0

Hello sarah, If you mean outdoor, then the answer is yes. I am always outside enjoying a view, watching my bird and feeling the sun on my skin. One of the things, i like the most in my job. I can't stand being enclosed by 4 walls.

Jun 16, 1:20PM EDT0

What is the pay range in your field?

Jun 14, 3:37AM EDT0

Hello ubates, well it is difficult to give a clear answer to your question because salary depends on how big the organisation is and the amount of funding they receive. However, it is clear that few get rich as a conservation biologist. 

Jun 16, 1:18PM EDT0

Do you have a set schedule at work?

Jun 14, 3:23AM EDT0

Hello Parker, a set schedule do occur depending on the projects i work on. I usually work from dawn to dusk with breaks in the middle. 

Jun 16, 1:15PM EDT0

What can volunteers do to save the wildlife?

Jun 14, 2:16AM EDT0

Hello Alex, you can go and help NGOs anywhere in the world. Some always need extra hands but can't afford to pay. You can also provide funding, every penny count. On a daily basis, using less plastic objects is a must because most finish in the wildlife habitats and kill innocent animals.

Jun 16, 1:13PM EDT0

How many hours a week do you work?

Jun 13, 11:59PM EDT0

Hey Sharon, to be honest i don't count anymore. I don't have specific timetable, i go where i am needed and at anytime. I just try to make every hour productive towards a better wildlife world.

Jun 16, 1:07PM EDT0

Do you work alone, or with other people?

Jun 13, 5:36PM EDT0

Hey robert, like any other jobs, i am expected to be at ease to do both. I am always surrounded by colleagues who love to help but sometimes things need only one pair of hands.

Jun 16, 1:05PM EDT0

What is the worst part about your job?

Jun 13, 5:13PM EDT0

The worst part is working day and night on my babies and then for some reasons they died. Even if they are free in the wild, i do get to know them and attach and i want to population to grow and not the reverse.

Jun 16, 1:04PM EDT0

Do you rather working with land life or marine life?

Jun 13, 4:19PM EDT0

Hello barbara, I love both but i have to say that i love working on land while having the lagoon not far. To be honest, I am not into swimming and diving, so i have never try working on marine life yet, one day maybe, you never know.

Jun 16, 1:02PM EDT0

Does your job focus on wildlife or on plants?

Jun 13, 3:49PM EDT0

Hey carl, don't you think that both are connected? wildlife include both animal and plants. I work with a bird species that eat fruits and while i check on them, i need to study their eating behaviour which mean that i do have some knowlegde of mauritian endemic plants.

Jun 16, 1:01PM EDT0

Do you get to interact with the public a lot for this job?

Jun 13, 2:38PM EDT0

Hello victoria, on the islet i was working, i did interact a lot with them doing biologists tour or speech. It is fun. Explaining my passion has always been somthing i love.

Jun 16, 12:59PM EDT0

What kind of degree did you get in school?

Jun 13, 9:33AM EDT0

Hello Lisa, My course was named Bsc(Hons)Biology minor forensic science. When i enrolled for it, i didn't know that conservation would win my heart.

Jun 16, 12:50PM EDT0

Did your studies prepare you for working in this field?

Jun 13, 5:23AM EDT0

Hey Nicolas, Since i did a degree in general biology, i only had an theorical overview of the job. However, i did my thesis on ecology which required fieldwork like what i am doing now. Many aspects of the job were unexpected but my studies did prepared me to understand every part  of it.

Jun 16, 12:49PM EDT0

Do you work as an employee or as an independent contractor?

Jun 13, 3:41AM EDT0

Hey amanda, I am an employee of a local NGO. I just started my career and who knows i might become experienced and confident enough one day to be an independent contractor.

Jun 16, 12:46PM EDT0

Have you ever given a tour or educational speech?

Jun 13, 3:20AM EDT0

Hey Ncampbell, very nice question. In fact it is one of the extra things i need to do in my job. The islet i was on, is opened to the public and i was often asked to do a biologist tour or speech. Also, the NGO always welcome students for special tours when we worked, so i am always surrounded by people to explain my job to and i love that a lot!

Jun 16, 12:45PM EDT0

Do you usually have to report to a supervisor?

Jun 13, 3:04AM EDT0

hello christopher, yes i have several persons i need to report too depending on the subject and that person's job title in the NGO.

Jun 16, 12:39PM EDT0

How long did you study biology in school?

Jun 13, 2:52AM EDT0

hey jacob, since i started primary school till uni. And it is not in my plan to stop now... studies are my addiction.

Jun 16, 12:38PM EDT0

Do you have benefits working at this job?

Jun 13, 1:21AM EDT0

hey lholt, the personal and professional experiences i am getting are beyong expectations. But maybe you want to know about some specific benetifs?

Jun 16, 12:34PM EDT0

Have you ever gotten to submit articles for scientific journals?

Jun 12, 11:28PM EDT0

Hey daniel, not yet but it is one of my dreams. 

Jun 16, 12:33PM EDT0

How many jobs have you had before this one?

Jun 12, 8:47PM EDT0

hey Twright, since 18 years old, i have been a barmaid/cashier, teleagent, chat operator, kids club animator / babysitter and postal officer. i did all these during my uni time. I wanted to taste most job worlds i can to have an idea about adulthood and society.

Jun 16, 12:32PM EDT0

Are there several job sites that you regularly visit?

Jun 12, 8:23PM EDT0

Hello kelly, do you mean websites?

Jun 16, 12:30PM EDT0

What is the farthest site that you've had to work at?

Jun 12, 2:42PM EDT0

Hey Csavage, the islet i worked on was about 1km away from the main island. It might just be 5mins by boat but this is far when you can't go and see your family for weeks. 

Jun 14, 12:47PM EDT0

Is there a lot of research involved in your job?

Jun 12, 2:19PM EDT0

Everything that i do is a type of research, data collection and data analysis. It is just that some doesn't require the whole process of writing them down. If i see something is not good for my birds, i will stop giving that to them and spread the word to newcomers. But if i am doing some experience to proof or understand something better, then i will record it scientifically. However i am still at the stage of employee, following rules and giving ideas for the ngo i work for.

Jun 14, 12:45PM EDT0

Do you have a dress code when you are working this job?

Jun 12, 1:26PM EDT0

hey Andrew, well i don't have a specific uniform. We just need to be prepared to have clothes for any working conditions. Waterproof jackets and trousers for humid area due to rain and mosquitos. t-shirt and short for hot islets. We do get shirts with the logo of the NGO though and on formal meetings, we are required to wear them to look professional.

Jun 14, 12:30PM EDT0

What do humans do that hurts wildlife the worst?

Jun 12, 11:41AM EDT0

Hey victoria! Deforestation is the worst. Removing their natural shelter, food source and living habits something essential for wildlife survival.

Jun 13, 1:46PM EDT0

Do you have to do a lot of paperwork in your work?

Jun 12, 11:29AM EDT0

Hello Georgedennis, yes i do need to fill in daily and monthly paperwork with all the data i need to collect. It might be tiring but we do how important is it to see if there is any progress in the job.

Jun 12, 11:48PM EDT0

Will you ever have to relocate for this job?

Jun 12, 8:25AM EDT0

Hey Tom, I work for an NGO that operates all over Mauritius and Rodrigues Islands as well as some islets surrounding them. That phrase in itself tells you that as much as i can be based in one location in Mauritius, i can also be changing places every week depending on where i am needed. I am most of the time required to stay on-site during the duration of the work to be done. Also, Mauritius is so small that you can go anywhere back and forth in one day. A significant relocation would be working in another country which is a dream of mine.

Jun 12, 9:32AM EDT0

Do you work every day in your job?

Jun 12, 6:51AM EDT0

Hello Lori, I have to say that i do have a very unstable timetable especially because i stay on field most of the time and it happens that i need to work everyday during several weeks in a row. But it is such a rewarding job that for now, it doesn't really matter and i do get holidays afterwards to catch up on sleep, families and friends. 

Jun 12, 8:54AM EDT0

Do you ever have to write reports at work?

Jun 12, 4:17AM EDT0

hey Troy, let me tell you that homeworks never stops, during adulthood they come in forms of reports. However, these are interesting because during the writing up, you see the worth of your whole day, week or month of raw data collection.

Jun 12, 9:24AM EDT0

What is the best part of your job?

Jun 12, 4:06AM EDT0

Hello shawn, that question is awesome but also difficult for me to answer. However, to reply to your question, I would say that it is the connections i create with nature and people. I enjoy listening to birds singing as well as the stories of my colleagues. 

Jun 12, 9:39AM EDT0

Are you a government employee when you work at a national park?

Jun 12, 3:11AM EDT0

Hey David, your family name makes me happy because I had a few amazing colleagues, now friends, named Jones. Replying to your question, I work for an NGO who collaborates with the government which then gives us permission to access and work in the national park. 

Jun 12, 9:18AM EDT0

Did you always know that you wanted to work in this field?

Jun 12, 2:52AM EDT0

Hello Teresa, your question is nice because i would reply by saying that i always knew what jobs i didn't want. I did try office jobs but didn't like it at all. At secondary school, I kinda like sciences so i took them and at uni, biology won my heart. Then, i understood how broad this subject was. In life, i am a big fighter so i choose ecology as my war and since, my graduation, i am glad to say that till now i am doing a job that have all the requirements i wanted.

Jun 12, 9:03AM EDT0

What classes were focused on in your college curriculum?

Jun 12, 12:25AM EDT0

Hi Paul, My course title at uni was Bsc (Hons) Biology minor forensic science. So i had a detailed overview on all the different branches of biology as well as a great introduction on forensic science. We did modules with titles like diversity of plants and animals; plant and animal physiology and biochemistry; immunology; ecology; biostatistics; cell biology and environmental science. Do you have an interest in conservation yourself? 

Jun 12, 9:09AM EDT0

Was that what your parents want you to do 

Jun 11, 4:22PM EDT1

Hello Michael, I come from a single parent family because my dad died when i was around 2. Younger, my mom had to stop at primary school studies but she is so smart that i didn't know this until i finished secondary school . In her own way, she helps and encourages me to study as much as i can. So, i never had a career guidance from my mom, she just wanted me to have a good job. She doesn't understand the real aspect of my job but she is ok with it because she sees how happy i am, doing it. 

Last edited @ Jun 12, 8:49AM EDT.
Jun 11, 10:54PM EDT0
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