This week I'm at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona with a delegation from AWF. The WCC is like a Star Trek convention for conservation geeks.
8,000 people from all around the world - policy-makers, NGOs, governments, academics - come together for 10 days of workshops and discussions that guide global conservation issues. Issues like biodiversity, illegal wildlife trade, livelihoods, and global climate change.
In our Congo Heartland, construction on a bonobo research and conservation center is making great progress dispute all odds. The site is at Ndele in the middle of the 3,600 km² Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve, and is not so easy to get to.
It is a struggle to capture leopard pictures at this point. We are heading towards the end of the dry season and somehow animal movements have been altered. I cannot say this with confidence because I am currently sampling the southern part of the concession, which is a rugged terrain and has a limited number of roads. At the same time however, water is the limiting factor for most animals and as a result their movements should be in association with the distribution of water points.
In the last three weeks I was away at the AWF Biennial Meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya. Before I left I thought it would be prudent to leave cameras in the field so they can do the job while I was away. Upon my return I learned there were runaway fires from Mozambique.
I got even more worried when I saw burnt areas on the map. Three of my cameras were in those areas. I then went to visit the camera stations to investigate.