We are in Udzungwa and this is our first blog this month because it’s been a hectic time since we returned here four weeks ago. But exciting too, as we have been catching up with our team on all their endeavours since September, and making plans for several new initiatives over the coming year: our human-elephant interactions work with the local farmers (teaser photo below!), 15 of whom formed an official HEC mitigation group just yesterday and will be constructing more chilli fences next week; using camera traps to document elephant behaviour at chilli and beehive fences; investigating and conserving corridors between Udzungwa, Selous, Ruaha and Mikumi; assisting local Park and Nature Reserve rangers in their fight against wildlife poaching by, for example, testing out aerial response for poacher tracking; and planning to convene as a Regional Elephant Forum bringing together Ruaha, Mikumi, Selous and Udzungwa elephant researchers, managers, and other stakeholders in Iringa town in early 2012. We will fill you in and keep you updated over the coming weeks, so please check back in. For now, have a wonderful Xmas day, and we’ll be back in the New Year.
Trev, Kate and the UEP Team