Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finding Forest-er

Forest:

The new transects were postponed for a little bit so in the mean time I was working on the lemur census. This involved 5km bike to the town, 7km walk to the forest, and then 2.5km hike on an already established transect. Then we do everything in reverse, packing our lunches into the forest. A transect is a very narrow pathway through the forest. Since they do not cut any trees and only can move branches and roots out of the way. There are fallen trees to climb over and under and saplings to avoid as well as the occasional hidden holes covered with leaves. These transects are at specific degrees and distances apart to know exactly where you are in the forest.

Lemurs:

We spotted several groups of woolly lemurs as well as brown lemurs. We averaged seeing 2 groups per day (2 transects, seeing more groups in the morning than in the afternoon). On my second to last day in the forest I was given the opportunity to lead as our guide had to pee. Having not seen any lemurs that day I shocked everybody when a minute or two into leading I saw a male brown lemur. Upon finding him we also saw a female and two others in the group. =D Very exciting. By documenting where the lemurs are in the forest, group dynamics, activities, and the type of forest we can hopefully find out the effects of the different pressures on the forest on the lemur populations.

Funding:
USAID has decided to change their requirements for Child and Maternal health so that my Moringa project will not be receiving funding. Unfortunate but I am still working with what seeds and materials I already have and can probably do a smaller project to a similar effect.

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