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Hyenas and Jackals on Camera

Wed, 2012-06-27 10:01 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:

After nearly two weeks of camera trapping in the Athi-Kapiti ranches (Game Ranching, Machakos Ranching, Lisa Rach and Kapiti Estate) we have seen cheetah tracks on several occasions, but the only predators coming to our bait... hyena and jackals. Our Robo-goat has been having technical issues with sound and battery capacity, but the jackals and hyenas still visit it almost daily.

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KWS MIST Training

Wed, 2012-06-27 09:45 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Machakos KWS training Jimmy (left), Eunice (center - KWS Machakos Senior Warden), Pius (second from right)

ACK Cheetah Scouts and Athi-Kapiti Cheetah Project Scouts attended training with KWS rangers on use of GPS equpment and directions for participation in a nation-wide wildlife monitoring programme in collaboration with KWS. Our guys went there to be taught and ended up being amoung the teachers! Our scouts have been using GPS units for the past four years, since they brought their own units with them, they were also requested to help teach the others in the class how to use the units to record data and to find GPS points through the navigation page.

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Here Kitty-kitty

Tue, 2012-06-19 18:15 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
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Robo Lives!

Thu, 2012-06-14 19:03 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Mandela and EricaTesting Robo

We took the bits and bobs out of storage for using the robotic goat designed by Peter Barber as one of the potential bait stations. Robo will sit in a protective cage with several cameras being aimed at the target pint to see if he can live up to our expectations.

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Camera Trap Sites

Thu, 2012-06-14 19:02 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Mandela and Erica

Throughout the week the team visited all of the Athi-Kapiti Ranches and the Salama focal site for their respective studies. Erica will begin the camera trapping next week.

Erica is all set to begin the camera trap study. She has worked out the logistics of the bait being used for testing and the locations for the trap sites.

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In the Bush

Thu, 2012-06-14 18:53 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:

Sorry everyone - bad network tonight. I wanted to post a few things but cant get photos to attach. I will be in Nairobi next week so will attach photos then!

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The First Poops!

Thu, 2012-06-14 18:35 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Nelson (student), Jimmy (cheetah scout) and Morgan (student) record details of cheetah scat Scat collection - Action for Cheetahs and Athi-Kapiti cheetah teams

Our new research students held a “poop collection” training with ACK and Athi-Kapiti staff. The training was conducted on Kapiti and Lisa Ranches. Nelson was floating on “Cloud-9” when he picked up seven samples in one day. Morgan was a little disappointed that none of the poop was fresh enough for the hormone testing… but the good thing is that at least five potential sites have been identified for the team to search each week.

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More Konza Bottling

Thu, 2012-06-14 17:47 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Volunteer Deanna - impromptu bottling Volunteer Maxime and Student Erica - Impromptu bottling

On Sunday, 10 June, some of the ACK research team held a small impromptu bottling at the Konza fence. We completed about 400 meters of the remaining fence along the community side of Konza. there is only about 200meters left to go!

On the way around to check the rest of the fence we found two snares set by poachers. One was set where some of the game species have pushed up a portion of the fence to sneak under. Another was just tied about kongoni head-height. Both snares were removed.

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Floris and Ginger - the SCAT team

Sun, 2012-05-27 19:49 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
Reinier and Floris - search training Mary n Ginger heading to the field

In 2008-2010 my dog Ginger had training sessions to learn to identify cheetah scat. While her drive was OK, Ginger was raised more as a pet than as a working dog. She knew that even if she did not find a scat, we would still have a ball back at the house to play with. She knew that she would get attention and praise even when she did not feel like working. And most of all, she loves searching for squirrls, mongoose and rats. She was genuinely spoiled! Sure, she would find the scat on occasion, but she pretty much walked past about as many as she found.

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Welcome Morgan and Nelson

Sun, 2012-05-27 14:29 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
IMG_0033 Scat Lumumba

Earlier this year I mentioned the master’s student, Dr. Nelson Owange who has joined the ACK team. Nelson attends the University of Nairobi and is about to finish his coursework for the year. In February, Nelson travelled to the USA where he spent two weeks at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. There he met Adrienne Crosier and Morgan Maly. Adrienne is a cheetah reproductive biologist and Morgan is another Masters student. Morgan will be working with Nelson in the field from now (May) through August collecting fecal samples. Every scientist knows you can learn a lot from POOP!