Field Research and Conservation in Africa
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Cheetahs take the Bait
Erica is now in her fifth week of camera trappping. The majority of triggers on the cameras at most sites is hyena and hoofed stock (including domestic). We have witnessed how hyena can pull the thorns away from the protective boma around a goat. How much interest the jackals have for our RoboGoat. Bushbaby seem to like our predator decoy. White-tailed mongoose scent mark over all the other scents.
This weekend the cameras caught the first cheetahs. A female with subadult cubs investigated the live goat bait, and checked out a camera or two.
The cameras are still in the "control" area for another week and a half on their last rotation of the baits.
Michael Mbithi looked at the photos and he does not believe this is one of the cheetahs that had previously been identified in the Athi-Kapiti region. He took the photos home to run them through his data-base and will let us know for sure.
Morgan found some fresh fecal samples from the area last week... but at this point we are not sure whether they are from this family or from the "three big males" that people reported around the same area. Lets see if this week's bait is as tempting as the live goat.
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