Back to the Field!

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Good news: thanks to funding from National Geographic, we’re heading back out to Tanzania with some new camera traps for Snapshot Serengeti!

It’s a bit short notice, but I’ll be heading back out to the field in just under two weeks to dive back into camera maintenance and data collection. I’ve been frantically ordering field equipment and gathering together all the supplies I need in Serengeti, including 50 cameras and what feels like twice my weight in rechargeable batteries. I’ll be adding new cameras back in to the grid to replace those that have been damaged or stolen, in addition to following up on some playback experiments I conducted last summer and continuing to monitor changes in the habitat around each of our camera sites. Some new data that we’ll be picking up this year include examining changes in the soil quality throughout the camera trap set-up and characterizing diversity in the plant communities in the immediate vicinity of our camera traps. Both of these factors contribute to forage quality for our ungulates and affect how appealing a particular site is for different animal species. I might even attempt to collect samples of dung (ah, the glamour of field work) from around our cameras to see whether we’re actually catching in our photos all the animals hanging out in these areas.

After a few months in Tanzania, I’ll be heading down to South Africa to conduct additional experiments in a small private reserve in the Kalahari. Look forward to updates from the field, and wish me luck!



6 responses to “Back to the Field!”

  1. Tina says :

    AHHH! You’re so awesome and I am so jealous! Could a lowly zoo elephant volunteer smuggle herself in your field gear?? I’m a pro at picking up feces! 🙂

  2. Pat says :

    Luck! All good, of course. And enjoy.

  3. Ymene says :

    Meredith, where will you be in the Kalahari? When I did my research there I was near (150 km north) of a small town called Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province. Let me know if you are in that area. You have to meet Gert and Liesel Olivier, a delightful couple who lodged us during my research there in 2002.

    • meredithspalmer says :

      I’ll start off working at a reserve called Tswalu — it looks like the reserve is only a couple of hours away. Could you send me their contact info? Always nice to know friendly people in the area! Thanks!

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