Udzungwa (10.01.2009 to 12.31.2009)

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October - December
Communications activities: 

Francesco Rovero (Site coordinator) and Emanuel Martin (Site manager) attended the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute's meeting in Arusha on 2-4 December 2009. Since TEAM sampling had recently started, we did not present any data or results.

New Species: 

None. From preliminary screening of the camera-trap images, no new species or very unusual records were obtained.

Protocol Problems: 

We did not encounter any significant problems with the protocol, except those related to logistic and equipment (see below).

Schedule Problems: 

Both the terrestrial vertebrates and vegetation protocols were implemented without major deviations from the sampling scheduler, despite they took a bit longer than expected (see below). Uploading of climate data has been delayed, at times, due to technical problems associated to data downloading (see below).

Logistical Problems: 

Because of steep terrain and the large spread of cameras including areas where we never went before, the time required to set camera-traps was longer than estimated during planning (on average by 1 week per block of 20 cameras), and this had some reflections on field budget needed and minor deviations from the sampling scheduler. Similarly, vegetation sampling required longer than expected (taking overall about 10 days per plot), probably because unlike camera-trapping this was a new exercise for most of the field staff. The remoteness of higher altitude plots was also reflected on the number of porters and field supplies needed, that also caused some increase on the field budget needed.

Climate protocol encountered technical problems associated to downloading data from the SD card, and also communication problems between the laptop and the data-logger. However the data were collected correctly by all sensors. In order to test the equipment adequately, the tower was kept during Q2 in the trial site near the field station, and will be moved to the final site during Q3. Constant advisory and technical support from Jorge Ahumada and Eric Fegraus help addressing the problems.