Kenya: Animals, for real

Update from our Africa volunteer project working on the Big Five and biodiversity in the Maasai Mara of Kenya

The days in the Mara have been full of activity, the citizen scientists have been busy collecting data and scientist Roland has finally been able to see that there are a great and diverse range of animals here that exist in the real world and not just on spreadsheets. The Cybertracker app has been optimised and is now working well across the five different projects we are using for our animal mapping.

We have completed two waterhole observations of 14 hours each – the first had to be moved due to a lack of water (apparently this is an essential component when observing waterholes). The second observation was in Mbokishi – a new conservancy where the wildlife is yet to flourish. This apparent lack of wildlife led to some ”interesting” sightings from tired eyes – 113 ostriches? Baby crocodiles (actually tortoise)? These waterhole observations – although low in sightings – are vital in order to generate a baseline of data to show the progress being made here in the coming years.

Monday saw the first expedition birthday, we all joined together to sing happy birthday for Alistair and to share a delicious homemade cake. After the shameful refusal from the German contingent to sing “Zum Geburtstag viel Glück” to the birthday boy, the staff at the Wild Hub performed an entrancing song and dance for us all instead.

The weather has been hot and dry with temperatures reaching into the mid 30s and not a drop of rain for the past week. The ground is becoming sun-baked and yellow and we are all hoping for some relief to these conditions soon. The electricity and Wi-Fi have been temperamental, to put it nicely, but overall the expedition is running smoothly and we are working as a strong unit to continue with the essential science.

Update from our Africa volunteer project working on the Big Five and biodiversity in the Maasai Mara of Kenya

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