Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (07.01.2009 to 09.30.2009)

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Year: 
2009
Quarter: 
July - September
Communications activities: 

The ITFC deputy director, Miriam van Heist gave a presentation about TEAM activities in  BINP. This presentation was given in a workshop with theme "Assessing the prospects for growth of the Bwindi mountain gorilla population”. The workshop took place in Kabale, Uganda from 26/08/09 to 28/08/09. Badru Mugerwa also attended this workshop.

ITFC directors (Douglas Sheil and Miriam van Heist) and Badru Mugerwa have held meetings with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials. UWA officials include Mr. Charles Tumwesigye (Bwindi- Mgahinga Conservation Area (BMCA) chief manager), Mr. Aggrey Rwestiba (Director Research and Monitoring, UWA) and Mr. Edwin Kagoda (warden Research and Monitoring BINP).

Badru Mugerwa has also held several meetings with local leaders in areas where TEAM activities are being implemented. The meetings were geared towards smooth implementation of TEAM activities in Bwindi.

Badru Mugerwa (TEAM coordinator BIF/ITFC) gave a presentation about TEAM activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP). This presentation was given during the visit of the WCS New York executive members on 15th/08/09. These included Steve Sanderson (CEO WCS International, New York), James Deutsch (Director Africa Programme, New York), Alastair McNeilage (Director Uganda Programme, Kampala) and Jan Broekhuis (Director WCS-WILD Programme, Kampala).

Two UWA rangers Jimmy Byaruhanga and Job Nahabwe were selected to participate on all TEAM activities. Jimmy and Job have participated in the vegetation plot survey and establishment.

Job has participated in several ITFC/UWA studies. These include vegetation mapping, multiple use zones monitoring and installing camera traps.

Both Job and Jimmy are very enthusiastic to participate in all TEAM activities.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

There was unusual sighting of the Golden cat (Felix sylvestris) on the 27th/09/09. The cat was feeding on long tailed mouse. This was seen along the road from Kabale town, 8 km after the park gate.

Another unusual sighting was for the  Yellow Backed Duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor). This duiker is rarely seen when compared to the Black Fronted Duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons). The Yellow backed duiker was sighted during the establishment of vegetation plot (VGBIF5) on 6th/09/09. The duiker was feeding within the plot.

New Species: 

No new species have been found and identified in BIF. Sampling has not started in BIF.

Protocol Problems: 

Vegetation protocol

  • The difficulties in assessing multiple vegetation sites over a large and rugged forest (with a low rate of acceptance). More proposed points were requested. The TEAM Remote Sensing Analyst provided the proposed points.
  • Shortage of equipment (and delayed shipping). Newly bought precise ITFC equipment (tape measures, sunto compass and sunto clinometer) were used in the vegetation plot survey and establishment.

Climate monitoring protocol

  • Uncertainty over the criteria for locating the climate station.  The solar radiation sensor was not added until a late moment in the process but has the most stringent requirements of all the probes, leading us to abandon a number of sites suitable by the previous criteria. Several hilltops were searched as potential climate station sites. One hill  (owned by UWA) was selected. A metal fencing has been erected and constructed at the site.
  • Shortage of equipment (and delayed shipping). We are still waiting for the shipment.
  • All these issues were communicated to Tim O'Brien.
Schedule Problems: 

Vegetation protocol

We have not deviated from the proposed sampling schedule. Seventeen plots were located, assessed and surveyed. Six plots were accepted while eleven rejected. These plots were accepted following the TEAM plot placement criteria. Three of the accepted plots have been surveyed and established.

Climate monitoring protocol

No monthly climate data is being collected. This is attributed to the delay in the  shipment of equipment to the site. This was communicated to Tim O'Brien. Climate data collection was scheduled to start in October.

Logistical Problems: 

Delayed shipping for the TEAM equipment. TEAM equipment has not yet reached the site.