Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (04.01.2010 to 06.30.2010)

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Year: 
2010
Quarter: 
April - June
Communications activities: 
Badru Mugerwa attended the Ecological Society of Eastern Africa (ESEA) was attended in Nairobi Kenya. The conference was held on the days of 19th-21st of May 2010. I gave a poster presentation about TEAM activities in Bwindi. The ITFC directors ( Doug and Miriam) held a meeting with the Conservation Area Manager (CAM) for Bwindi-Mgahinga conservation areas. Several issues regarding TEAM activities were discussed. A volunteer (Peter Ssekiranda) was seelected from various applicants to help with TEAM activities. Peter has worked under strict supervision with Badru to install camera traps in the forest. Peter is also helping in setting up the climate station. Peter is a 24 year old forestry graduate from Makerere University. He has just completed his Bsc. Forestry. Peter has experiance and great enthusiasm in biological research. He studied the harvesting techniques and ways of utilizing medicinal plants in communities surrounding Mpanga forest reserve, Central Uganda as his undergraduate thesis.
Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

An African Civet (Civettictis civetta) was captured on one of the trial camera traps set around the ITFC station. The cat is not rare, but secretive and seldom seen.

New Species: 

No new species recorded yet. We are looking forward to the camera trap pictures after data retrieval. This activity  will occur later this month.

Protocol Problems: 
No major problems encountered in implementing vegetation and climate monitoring protocols. Only three of 30 proposed camera trap points were in inaccessible areas. The rest of the CTs were put as close as possible to their proposed points (within a radius of 10-20m). One of the Points (CTBIF122) was shifted 200m from the proposed point because of a very steep slope and hanging cliffs. Two points (CTBIF113P and CTBIF118P) were totally unreachable. We tried to access these points from three areas (Hakondo camp, Rushanga camp and through the community land). We needed approx. 16hrs (to and fro base) to reach them from some points. They are located in an area with no tails (not even elephant trails) in the middle of the park. The forest is very thick with Mimulopsis in the valleys and Alchonea hirtella covering upper slopes and hill tops making it hard even for the cutters to cut through. The area has no nearby camping space. All water sources are kilometers away. These were shifted to CTBIF13 and CTBIF18, approx. two km from their proposed positions (please see map included in the attachment), BUT still maintaining the one kilometer interval between them and other points. These changes were communicated to the protocol and TEAM Technical dircetor.
Schedule Problems: 

We are behind schedule for climate protocol. Climate station assembling is starting tomorrow. We are also behind schedule for the camera trapping. This was due to delayed shipment of camera traps and climate equipment.