Our first slot has come to a close, and what a busy two weeks it has been. Our overnight team, which were Steve, Michael and Manuela, came back brimming with things to tell us about their night in the jungle. Firstly there was the rain, and lots of it. Their base camp for the night was along a stream off the main river next to the boats. It started raining hard at 21:30. While the three had set their tents uphill a bit, the boat drivers stayed by the boats and after three hours of non-stop downpours, they had to relocate their shelter as the water level started lapping at their feet. The rise in water seemed to flush out a few more local residents as well, in the form of three snakes who did not seem too interested in us as they were swimming along the river.
But the overnighter’s biggest news by a long way was found in their first day during an interview with a rubber plantation guy, who has heard tigers twice in the last two weeks. This was backed up by another interview with a worker at another plantation who also had heard two tigers in the last two weeks. These were both in the same area in the nature reserve and we’re looking forward to getting back in there and setting some camera traps. The team would have done this themselves, but the water level the following morning made it impossible to cross over to the other side. They did, however, set some camera traps in a promising area that we’ll be eager to revisit in in the coming weeks.
During our last day in the field, actually it was just a half day, as we had to pack up and work through the data input and summary sheets on the computer, Steve spotted another track of a leopard. Wow, really unexpected great news in the last minute of the first slot.
On our last night at the base, one of the park rangers who had been with us at the beginning of the slot came up to the station and told us that the following day they were going into the reserve with a team of twenty, including the police, to try and combat some of the illegal logging taking place.
Well, thank you all for your tremendous input. It was a pleasure working with you. Please don’t forget sharing your photos.
Save travels home and stay involved.
Anthony & Ronald