fredag 28 september 2012

Day 37 - My last day in Tanzania

This trip has come to an end. I am leaving Tanzania in a few hours after some five weeks conducting field research. The project will continue into its next phase which includes anaylsis of morphological and biogeographical data collected, potentially collect some more samples via museum fellow researchers, sequence our gentic samples and then try to make sense out of that. The blog will be kept alive with posts as things progress but it won't be a day to day update.

To conclude our trip I have asked Simon to give his final remarks. Enjoy!

Simon here with some reflections on our record-breaking achievements and the importance of team work as we complete the best part of a month living in small tents in three hot and humid forests. Why record breaking? We went from catching one dwarf galago during the last field trip to Zanzibar, to catching up to 13 in two of the three sites during this trip. This gives us a lot of genetic material for DNA sequencing and a number of potential analyses in the laboratory which will form the second part of our study. All this was made possible by impressive teamwork organized by Johan and Andy. Andy deals with the logistics and red tape and he has encyclopedic knowledge of Tanzania and its wildlife. He is the only one of us that speaks Swahili. Johan is our equipment guru and technical guy, chief film maker with his 35 x optical zoom video camcorder and lighting system. He is also co-inventor of some cunning new traps, as well as general administrator and accountant. I try to fill any gaps by helping with trapping, photography and tape recording, and getting everyone awake in the middle of the night with cups of hot chocolate. We have been supported at each site by a local guide, a cook and sometimes by a driver for the vehicle or a conservation volunteer. But it is the background support of family, friends and colleagues that makes it all possible, particularly Nike and the children who have hosted us and entertained us during our breaks between sites. So many thanks to all. Did it seem like hard work? Not at all – more like a holiday – once we got use to the extreme heat which reached 43 degrees at Ngumburuni! Here’s to the next trip!


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