Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Drying Mara River threatens wildlife migration

A recent article quotes the Head Ecologist in the Serengeti National Park, Dr. James Wakibara.  I've copied in a quote below.  Click the link for the full article.



The Mara River sustains one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world - the annual migration of millions of wildebeests, zebras and antelopes arriving in the Mara Basin during the dry season in search of water and forage.

Since Mara River is not a large river, ever increasing activity will eventually severely degrade the riverine ecosystem and even impinge upon the most basic needs of people, livestock, wildlife and the overall basin’s economy. “If the irregular flow of Mara River becomes more and more extreme, it could, for example, cause a collapse in the wildebeest populations, thus hampering the entire migration cycle that sustains the Maasai Mara - Serengeti ecosystem,” Dr Wakibara said.


Final Housing Design for our Eureka Manta2

Here is the final design for our Eureka Manta2 data-logger housing.  We'll be installing them within the next few days/weeks and see how they hold up in the Mara River with all the hippos and crocs.

Once we get to the sites, we'll be wrapping portions of the bike lock with silicon tape to try to keep water out of the locking mechanism.  More to come in the next few days...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Almost there...

We arrived back in Narok this weekend, the small town where we used to live and which will be our primary staging/re-supply area for this summer. We're fortunate to be staying in the little house where we lived for 2.5 years, so it feels like coming back home. We have a lot of good friends here, and the dogs and chickens are all still around. This week we're sorting through our gear, getting the Land Rover up and running, re-packing, and buying yet more supplies like chain, pipes and fence posts for securing our data loggers. We hope to head to the Mara by this weekend-- keep your fingers crossed!

As we prepare all of our equipment, I keep feeling like we must be doing something wrong to have all of this gear we have to lug around. The Maasai, who leave home for weeks at a time with bow and arrows, a blanket and a gourd of milk, look utterly amazed one person could need so much!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

On our way...

We've got 11 bags with over 460 pounds of gear, including 800 pre-dried and weighed filter papers, 300 acid-washed sample bottles, 250 plastic cups for nutrient studies, 15 data-logging devices, 12 bottles of calibration solution, 2 large plastic tarps and a few clothes. I think we might be ready...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Possibly the best job in the world...

This could be the best job in the world.  If you have ever had an interest to live abroad, learn Kiswahili, and live out of a canvas tent in the middle of a protected area characterized by the largest ungulate migration in the world...this is your job.  Apply by May 31st.


Dams, Dams and more Dams

There has been a great deal of talk lately with "Mara River" and "Dams" being used in the same sentence.  Here is the short round-up of sources:

The Daily Nation also published an article on it last Friday but I can't locate it online.

The original tender for the consultancy services mentioned in the two articles is here.