Today is the last day of our one week in the field… already! As I write this, the North, Central and South groups are collecting live and camera traps and later on will survey two last 2 x 2 km quadrants within their areas. By this afternoon every team will have surveyed 56 sq km of varied habitats within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR): sand dunes, vegetated sand dunes and gravel plains. This one week tour de force by our survey teams is an important annual survey benchmark for the DDCR that can only be produced through your hard work and dedication. Thank you everyone and long may it continue!
During this year’s live capture week, no animals went into the live traps. More: not a single one of our twelve live traps was triggered druing their six nights out in the field. Was it bad placement, bad luck or, more worryingly a decline in species. Our camera traps will have to shed more light on the presence of nocturnal species such as Gordon’s wildcat, foxes, hares, etc.. Watch this space for more news and of course the full expedition report in due course.
To bring things to a close today, Steve gave us all a review of the work done before we had our last dinner around the camp fire. We’ll end this year’s desert expedition by having a drink at the Al Maha Resort later tonight….
Thanks again for all your help. I’ll send through any interesting camera pictures we get, as well as more pictures of the expedition soon.
Update from our desert expedition / working holiday volunteering with oryx and wildcats in the United Arab Emirates