The inaugural group of citizen scientists on our Malawi expedition has just left for Lilongwe after two weeks of intense surveying. During their time in Vwaza Marsh, we have conducted Large Mammal Transects, Hippos Transects, Elephant Observations, Primate Surveys, Elephant Dung Analysis, Bat Surveys, Insect Trapping and Identification and Camera Trapping. And we already have some exciting results from our initial two weeks:
Eleven new elephants have been identified and named, and we sorted through 16 elephant dung samples.
Our camera traps captured 26 different species with six of them being carnivores, including two big cats – lion and leopard. This is particularly exciting as lion has never before been captured on film inside the reserve.
During our nightly bat surveys, we captured eight bats from four different species .
Last night, Karen, our in-house entomologist identified a new order of insect to Vwaza Marsh – the rarely seen Embioptera. Embioptera is the only group of insects that spin silk through their forelegs.
We are sad to see our very first hard-working group of citizen scientists leave, but we are looking forward to group 2 to arrive on Sunday to carry on the important work of monitoring the wildlife of Vwaza Marsh.
Thank you to everyone in group 1!