Ranomafana (01.01.2014 to 03.31.2014)

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Year: 
2014
Quarter: 
January - March
Communications activities: 

Presentation on TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring) objectives, methodology, and partial field results to groups of student visitors from the Private University IESGE (Institut d’Enseignement Supérieur pour la Gestion de l’Environnement) Antananarivo at Centre ValBio Ranomafana, on January 15th 2014.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

None

New Species: 

None

Protocol Activities: 

Vegetation

During this quarter (January – March 2014), Vegetation monitoring continued with field expedition to the remaining three Ranomafana TEAM plots: one plot of array 3 (Plot #2, Bevoahazo) and the two plots of array 1 (Plot 3 and 4, Andranofady, and Ranomena) (Table 1).  A total of 3392 individual plants had been monitored: 1032 from plot 2, 1404 from plot 3, and 956 individual plants from plot 4.  So far, all Ranomafana TEAM vegetation monitoring has been accomplished successfully.  All data are already entered and ready to be uploaded into the TEAM portal after the field and laboratory taxonomic reviews.

Table 1. Chronology of the continuation of TEAM Ranomafana field monitoring during quarter January – March 2014.

Expedition Period

Array #

Plot #

Site

December 26, 2013 – January 06, 2014

3

2

Bevoahazo

January 15 – 30, 2014

1

3

Andranofady

February 03 – 18, 2014

1

4

Ranomena

For plot plant taxonomic confirmation, which needs voucher specimen collection, additional field expedition has been planned, starting from expedition to plot 6 at Mangevo and to plot 5 at Maharira (Table 2).

Table 2. Additional field expedition for plot plant taxonomic confirmation and voucher specimen collection during this quarter.

Expedition Period

Array #

Plot #

Site

March 05th – 19th, 2014

2

6

Mangevo

March 31st – April 14th, 2014

2

5

Maharira

Taxonomic review of individual plot stems has also been conducted, using the MBG identified specimen references, photographs taken in the field, and web taxonomic references from “Plant Tropicos”.  A thorough review of all individual stems is being undertaken for the six vegetation plots, in order to get consistencies on their local vernacular nomination and universal plant reference taxonomy.  Note that a student from the University of Toliara, Ralazampirenena Claude Jackot, joined the TEAM crew this quarter to assist on data collection, analysis, and reporting, especially for the vegetation protocol, for his academic degree.

 

Terrestrial Vertebrates

The two field camera trap crews continued to work in parallel within two field areas during this quarter.  Team crew (N°1) picked up cameras within the half of array 2 (Mangevo); then continued to set up and pick up cameras within the half of array 1 (Ranomena) from January 14 to March 09, after cameras being deployed for thirty days.  The other team crew (N° 2) conducted camera pick up at the other half of array 2 (Maharira) from January 14 to 23, 2014; then set up and picked up cameras within the half of array 1 (Andranofady) from January 26 to March 06.

Table 3. Chronology of field expedition continuation for the “Terrestrial Vertebrates” monitoring during quarter January - March 2014.

Team crews

Period

Activity

Array

Area

N° 1

January 14 to 24

Pick up

2

Mangevo

January 28 to February 06

Set up

1

Ranomena

February 28 to March 09

Pick up

1

Ranomena

N° 2

January 14 to 23

Pick up

2

Maharira

January 26 to February 03

Set up

1

Andranofady

February 27 to March 06

Pick up

1

Andranofady

             All Ranomafana “Terrestrial Vertebrates” field monitoring has also been conducted successfully.  A total of 26,048 images, with an average of 8682,66 per arrays and 434,13 images per camera trapping point were obtained from all the sixty (20 x 3) points within the three-arrays of Ranomafana TEAM site.  Regardless of the content of the taken camera trap images, array 3 covered the highest recorded images among the three camera trap arrays, while array 2 captured the least pictures (Table 4).

Table 4. Total number of images captured from camera trap at each of the 20 points within Ranomafana TEAM site

Point ID

Array 1

Array 2

Array 3

1

45

81

570

2

4845

24

307

3

36

54

42

4

57

33

39

5

123

135

231

6

33

1092

30

7

33

45

132

8

66

135

84

9

48

2025

129

10

4014

27

16112

11

87

33

27

12

204

39

288

13

27

45

27

14

276

39

4185

15

27

957

333

16

75

30

27

17

366

102

39

18

18

21

549

19

114

471

90

20

831

57

537

TOTAL

11325

5445

23778

No camera damages, caused by animals, or missing camera, have been recorded, so far in the field.  However, few cameras had recorded fuzzy images, and others had been misfired and kept taking pictures until batteries had run out.  For example, at CT-3-10, there were 16,112 taken images, and most of the recorded images were not very clear.  In addition, the batteries ran out before the pickup session.

All obtained images have already been processed into the DeskTEAM.  All were entered, downloaded into the Desk TEAM, annotated, and exported into the TEAM portal after verification and reviews.  Copies of all three arrays tpk files have also been sent to the TEAM Headquarter. 

Preliminary and qualitative analysis of all photo data, demonstrated that a total of 23 vertebrate species were encountered within the three arrays, respectively, 17 at array 1; 17 at array 2; and 15 at array 3 (Table 5).   Recorded species belong to 6 species of birds (Atelornis crossleyii, Brachypteracias squamiger, Coua reynaudii, Lophotibis cristata, Nesoenas picturata, Sarothrura insularis) and 17 species of mammals (Bos primigenius, Cryptoprocta ferox, Eliurus tanala, Eupleres goudoutii, Fossa fossana, Galidia elegans, Galidictis fasciata, Hapalemur aureus, Hapalemur griseus, Homo sapiens, Nesomys rufus, Potamochoerus larvatus, Rattus rattus, Tenrec ecaudatus, Hemicentetes semispinosus, Eulemur rufifrons, Canis lupus).

Mammal species included insectivores (such as Tenrec ecaudatus and Hemicentetes semispinosus); lemur species (like Hapalemur aureus, H. griseus, and Eulemur ruffifrons); carnivores (such as Cryptoprocta ferox, Fossa fossana, and Canis canis); rodents (such as the eastern forest red rat, Nesomys rufus, Tanala tuft-tailed rat, Eliurus tanala, and the black rat, Rattus rattus); and human species (Homo sapiens).

 

Table 5. Presence analysis of all encountered species within the three arrays from camera trapping data (“X” represents the presence of the species)

#

Species

Array 1

Array 2

Array 3

1

Atelornis crossleyii

X

 

 

2

Bos primigenius

 

X

X

3

Brachypteracias squamiger

X

 

X

4

Coua reynaudii

X

X

 

5

Cryptoprocta ferox

X

X

X

6

Eliurus tanala

X

X

X

7

Eupleres goudoutii

 

 

X

8

Fossa fossana

X

X

X

9

Galidia elegans

X

X

X

10

Galidictis fasciata

 

X

X

11

Hapalemur aureus

X

 

 

12

Hapalemur griseus

X

 

 

13

Homo sapiens

X

X

X

14

Lophotibis cristata

X

X

X

15

Nesoenas picturata

X

X

X

16

Nesomys rufus

X

X

X

17

Potamochoerus larvatus

X

X

X

18

Rattus rattus

X

X

 

19

Sarothrura insularis

 

 

X

20

Tenrec ecaudatus

X

X

X

21

Hemicentetes semispinosus

 

X

 

22

Eulemur rufifrons

X

X

 

23

Canis lupus

 

X

 

Total

Species Number

17

17

15

 

 Climate

Regular monthly data collecting (every the 15th of the month) and climate station management (once at the end of the month) have been conducted.  All climate readings have been recorded and uploaded to TEAM portal.

On early January, the TEAM Headquarters sent a “Temperature/Relative Humidity” sensor (HC2-S3 Temperature/Relative Humidity Sensor), to replace one of the existing sensors, since the one had shown negative values during the last several months of data collection.  After installation, however, the faulty temperature/Relative Humidity data was removed but was not replaced.  So, a replacement sensor was purchased from the Campbell Companies in South Africa.  After installation of the latter, everything has been working properly.

This quarter, climate data is shown in the table below (Table 6).

Table 6. Recorded climate data (Temperature, Relative humidity, and Rainfall) at Ranomafana TEAM climate station from January to March 15, 2014.

 

TEMPERATURE (°C)

RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)

RAIN FALL (mm)

 

Sum

Avg

Max

Min

Sum

Avg

Max

Min

Sum

Avg

Max

Min

January

184390,1

20,7

29,24

15,56

807154,3

90,62

99,5

48,32

647,45

0,07

8,64

0

February

161856,5

20,07

28,41

14,16

738763,4

91,61

99,45

58,95

498,86

0,06

8,38

0

March

(1-15)

83439,88

20,47

27,39

15,64

369979,4

90,75

99,1

60,25

101,1

0,02

3,05

0

 

 

 

Protocol Problems: 

None

Schedule Problems: 

The persistence of the gold mining within the park, created an environment less secure, especially for the “Terrestrial vertebrates” team crews, because some of the camera trap points were situated not too far from the digging areas.  Arrangement with security guards often needs time to negotiate and depends on their availability.

Logistical Problems: 

None

Suggestions: 

None