Field Research and Conservation in Africa
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Our volunteer Shannon Monroe has an interest in education activities. She left Kenya in June for her next adventure as a Peace Corp volunteer in Benin, so she had requested experience in that part if the ACK work.
In the last several years many volunteers both international and local have assisted in putting together the core of a teacher workbook. Last year Sandy Ball and Amanda Bengston edited our workbook and condensed it into something that we think will be perfect for the standard 4-7 age groups.
Things were relatively calm in Salama regarding predators in the early part of 2010. An estimate of 10 cheetahs were in the area, a group of 5, a group of 3 and a group of 2 were reported in Kima, Aimi and Stanely ranches from March through April. After some heavy rains in the first few months of 2010, the tall grasses and extra activities of planting by the communities leaves the area difficult for cheetah hunting. The largest conflict animal in April was the baboon as the area had bumper crop harvests and the baboons saw it as an opertunistic feast.
The Seattle Times
After revitalizing research into the long-neglected disease malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now revamping the scientific agenda to focus on the controversial goal it set three years ago: driving malaria to extinction.
By Sandi Doughton
By Mary Wykstra
On 27 March during trapping in the Westgate Conservancy I stayed at the Ewaso Lions camp. I was just about to head out to check traps as Shivani and her crew returned from a morning game count with news of a wild dog sighting near camp. As we prepared to drive down to where she had left them, we saw an amazing sight… the 14 dogs pranced over a hill near the camp and walked less than 200 meters as we stood at the Lion camp mess area and took photos. This was my first ever wild dog sighting!
In Salama we first started trapping cheetahs in 2005. We used local welders in Salama town to build the trap and the goat bait pen. when Chifuyu started her PhD work in the Salama area we received funding for two addtional traps in 2008 and have been usingt them in the Salama area ever since.
Starting the project in Samburu means another set of equipment. Using the model trap – original design was from CCF – we asked the Lewa Downs workshop manager, Harry, if they could build us a trap. I took only two weeks and the new trap was ready for collection.
By Maxime Lapidaire
For some reason our collared cheetah Nataanywe shows herself to the Samburu tourist just a few days before ACK staff arrives in the reserve... but she hides when we are around. ACK had not seen her for several months. In June ACK staff did see two cheetahs in the Samburu National Reserve. These two, seeminly young, cheetahs were very shy. A few days later one of the drivers in the reserve saw them again on a kill.
By Maxime Lapidaire
For several months ACK has been trying to catch a cheetah outside of the Samburu National Reserve to put on a radio collar. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to catch a cheetah yet. The cheetahs outside of the reserve are more shy than the animals inside the reserve. It is important to collect data from these cheetahs because these are the animals who come in conflict with human in the area.
by Maxime Lapidaire
While out on field work and camping in the Meibae Conservancy in June 2010 for cheetah trapping, there were a huge variety of dudu’s (insects) found in the ACK camp site. From enormous walking sticks to cicadas which we had never seen before. Other than these unknown insect we also found many different kinds of lizards , dikdik’s and mongooses (mongeese??) in the camp.
Every evening we were treated a concert from the Vereaux's eagle owl, and as we went to sleep we heard hyenas from a distance.
by Mary Wykstra
In January I wrote about an accident that I had with our sturdy old truck. I have really enjoyed the Hylux - it has high clearance, it is powerful up hills and in mud and it is more or less a comfortable ride. A few times in the last years I have done fundraisers aimed at getting the funds to replace the old beast, but each time I fall short of the funds to replace it and end up investing into improving it. After the accident, we needed to pretty much rebuild the front end and I decided that we would keep this old truck for quite a while.
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