Field Research and Conservation in Africa
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More poop talk....
Morgan worked with us for two months training our staff on fecal collection for hormone analysis. During her time with us we have realized that looking for fresh scat is a VERY difficult task. The staff has identified a few key sites where cheetahs tend to return, but the low density of cheetahs over time means that finding the fresh scat is a matter of timing. We found only 15 fresh samples... not enough for baseline stress evaluation or comparison of the Salama and Athi-Kapiti system. Although our staff will continue to look for scat throughout the year... and will still store the fresh samples with hormone analysis as the primary goal, we have realized that the number of scats may be a challenge.
Morgan is currently proposing an extention of her study to include fecal collection in the Samburu region, and possibly including captive cheetahs within the country. This will give her a larger number of samples to test and should give her the extremes of baseline stress in our cheetahs. Collection of the fresh scat is also best for the hormone analysis so will also give more positive results in Nelson's long term studies.
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