We made it to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) where we have met with Moayyed Sher Shah, Conservation Officer and expedition scientist, and Greg Simkins, Conservation Manager.
We made it to the DDCR just in time for lunch, and within 10 seconds upon entering the reserve, we drove past our first gazelles foraging in the roadside scrub. After lunch, we got started right away going through the kit to make sure everything we need will be ready for you when you arrive at base camp. Tomorrow we’ll continue setting up base camp, do a bit of shopping for some fireside tea and coffee, and then we’ll take some time to talk with Greg and Moayyed to fine-tune the details of this year’s expedition. In addition to the annual count of the ungulate species (Arabian oryx, Arabian gazelle and sand gazelle), Moayyed is keen to continue the small mammal trapping that was so successful last season. Learning about the population dynamics of these small mammals will give us further information about the biology of the carnivores that prey on them, such as Gordon’s wildcat and the red fox.
The next couple days will be all preparation for your arrival on Saturday morning. We are really looking forward to meeting each of you and getting started with this great project here at the DDCR.
As regards the weather, it rained quite heavily yesterday. Today there was the odd bit of rain in Dubai. The temperatures went up to 21 deg C during the day and drop to around 14 deg C in the night. The forecast for the next few days is much the same.
Amadeus and Robin