Towards the end of August I visited other AWF’s large carnivore projects. The idea was that I could learn from other well established projects and see how different/similar land-use practices between East Africa and South Africa are. The projects include the lion project in the Maasai Steppe Heartland (Tanzania) and the wild dog project in the Samburu Heartland (Kenya).
Do any of you use Twitter? I’m exploring connecting with AWF supporters and conservation partners through Twitter, which is a network where people keep each other posted on what they're doing at the moment.
Thanks to my smart phone (a blessing and a curse), I can send quick updates on my adventures and AWF news directly from the field.
“There is a mystery behind that masked gray visage, an ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome an enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.”
-- Peter Matthiessen on elephants from “The Tree Where Man Was Born”
11:00am: I take the research car and go and upload pictures from the cameras. I’m unsettled at this stage because I’m alone. I get to the first camera station. I get out of the car, pick up the stones that lay right next to the car and throw them in to the nearest thickets and wait. At this point I’m standing at the door in the Nakedi’s Ready Position: “if something so much as growls from that thicket, I will dive in to the open door and lock myself in,” I make a mental note.
It’s too bad elephants aren’t smaller. If they were, perhaps they wouldn’t travel such great distances, and we humans wouldn’t have to drive for so long to map their movements. I spent the entire day bumping through West Kili’s inescapable dust, GPS mapping a snaking network of roads. It’s amazing how tiring all this sitting can be.