Field Research and Conservation in Africa
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With the lack of rain, the grass and bush in the Salama area is dry and brittle in September – perfect weather for fire. People use grass fires to control ticks, but sometimes the fires get out of control. In early October fires broke out in Ulu, Kima and Stanley. This not only threatens people's homesteads, but also temporarily reduces the grazing area for livestock and game. Everything has to move away. It means that predators must either follow the game, or they will be left with not choice but the attempt taking the livestock that are not moved out.
By EDITH M. LEDERER 11/26/12 10:44 PM ET EST
UNITED NATIONS -- Campaigners against female circumcision scored a major victory Monday with the approval by a key U.N. committee of a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation.
The fecal project has had a couple of set-backs.
After collecting a fresh scat, Deanna and Mandela realized that the freezer at the research station had shut off. The plug may have been loosened when the area was cleaned. It is not known how long the freezer was off, but it was long enough for the scats collected in July – August to mold. The samples can still be used for hair analysis, but they are no longer useable for hormone analysis.
We also set up a poster at the AAZK conference about the Samburu project which is supported by the AAZK Bowling for Rhinos programme.
Cheetahs share habitat with rhinos throughout Africa. In Kenya, one part of our project overlaps with areas of interest to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and their partners the Northern Rangelands Trust. The Bowling for Rhinos project was set up to support rhino conservation on Lewa and was subsequently expanded to support Java, Sumatra and Indian rhinos. The International Rhino Foundation is also a recipient of a portion of the BFR funding.
Early in the morning of 23 September we left Reno for the longest portion of our drive. With a brief stop at Flaming Gorge for the night we spent a total of 47 hours of drive time in three days. We spent the evening at my nieces house in Pennsylvania and passed by Niagra Falls before landing in Syracuse New York to attend the annual American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) conference.
Holly Koppleberger set up our craft table in the vendors area on the 24th, so we helped her with craft sales in between attending meetings.
In the second week of phase two of the camera trap study, one full set of cameras were stolen. The cameras were checked on Friday, but by Monday they were missing. The thieves used panga’s (machete) to break off the locks, taking the cameras and the batteries. This was a setback for the project because we would not be able to use the other sites selected on the Kima Ranch, thus two additional cameras needed to be moved onto private ranches near the subsistence farm community where security was stronger.
We spent several days in Fresno with Dale Anderson and Wendy Debbas. Wendy and her husband hosted our stay, but we met daily with Dale and many of the other Cat Haven staff daily. Cheetah Friend Europe (CFE) founders Nancy Benjamins and Maxime Lapidaire joined us in Fresno as well. My niece Brenda Tuttle also came to help with our fundraising efforts and to be another driver for the next leg of our trip.
We did not have the time to visit the Chaffee Zoo this year, but I spoke several times to Scott Barton the zoo director. We will be adding a talk at Chaffee again next year.
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