Community expeditions update: Tien Shan community camera trappers

Here’s another example of what funding by many generous donors has achieved on the ground with community staff, whilst expeditions with international citizen scientists were impossible during the coronavirus pandemic:

The coronavirus pandemic has made our expeditions to the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan with international citizen scientists impossible in 2020 and 2021. But our community camera-trapping group stayed active throughout, thanks to generous support via our coronavirus community appeal. This video shows some of their successes in capturing snow leopards. Well done and thank you for keeping the Biosphere Expeditions flag flying and research work going! Thank you to Amadeus DeKastle for coordinating it all.

Status update January 2022 – Kenya expedition deferred for another year; hopefully this will be the last deferral of 2022

In the end, the decision made itself, because most citizen scientists were not comfortable with coming on the expedition, despite and perhaps because of stringent hygiene procedures. So we will defer the expedition for another year. The 2023 dates are very likely to be 12 – 24 February | 26 February – 10 March and we will confirm this within the next month or so

Hopefully this will be the last deferral of 2022, before we can run expeditions again. If not, things will get difficult for us again and we will have to start another survival fundraiser to make it through. More than two years of no expeditions have really had an impact, to put it mildly.

On the bright side, the WHO chief thinks 2022 will be the year we beat the pandemic, as does clinical epidemiologist Dr. Rhagib Ali. There are certainly encouraging signs that the virus is moving towards the less virulent, endemic stage, to take its place alongside the flu and other endemic viral diseases.

We certainly think that we cannot let Covid rule our lives forever and that we should develop procedures that allow us to live – and run expeditions – with the virus around, because it will not go away. We tried with this Kenya expedition and failed. May the next try with the Azores, starting at the end of March, be successful!

Illustration by Ana Kova

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