Virunga Massif (04.01.2014 to 06.30.2014)

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Year: 
2014
Quarter: 
April - June
Communications activities: 

In April 2014, Conservation International (CI) shipped project equipments to Rwanda and in April, May and June Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) worked on getting them out of customs.

From May 21 through June 1, 2014 Melissa Rosa and James Maccarthy from CI visited Rwanda to help install the climate station and participate in the project inception meeting that WCS and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) organized in Musanze on May 23, 2014. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the TEAM project in the Volcanoes National Park (VNP) to different stakeholders and discuss issues and synergies pertaining to its implementation. In this meeting, Melissa Rosa from CI gave two presentations: “TEAM and the two years achievements of the project on Monitoring Ecosystem Services, Agriculture and Livelihoods in Nyungwe and Muhanga/Kamonyi landscapes” and “the TEAM project in Volcanoes National Park”. Some recommendations for the implementation of the TEAM project in volcanoes were provided. These include visiting the forest to check on accessibility of proposed points for camera traps, extending the deployment of camera traps in the western side of the park because it is more accessible and rich in mammals, considering various options for choosing the site of the weather station including putting it near a ranger post or near the station of Rwanda Climate Observatory Project. Also participants showed the importance of partnering with government agencies and NGOs in project design and implementation to ensure that the data that are collected could be easily transferable and usable by different interested institutions.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

No unusual event took place during this quarter.

Protocol Activities: 
  1. Climate Monitoring Protocol
    The activities of installing the climate station started in May and ended in June 2014. The station is located at the edge of the park. It is fenced and protected by a local guardian. The test showed that all of the sensors are working well.
     
  2. Terrestrial Vertebrate (camera trap) Monitoring Protocol
    The final site sampling design was produced in June by Melissa Rosa, former Remote Sensing Analyst at CI. Also in June, Madeleine Nyiratuza, the site Manager at WCS, trained Charles Kayijamahe, the site Co-Manager at IGCP, in Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol. The deployment of camera traps in Array 1 started in July 2014.
     
  3. Vegetation Monitoring Protocol
    From May 27 through May 29, 2014 Emanuel Martin from Udzungwa Mountains, a TEAM site in Tanzania, trained Charles Kayijamahe in Vegetation Monitoring Protocol. Field data collection is planned to start in the end of July 2014.
Protocol Problems: 

No protocol problem was encountered during this quarter.

Schedule Problems: 

There was a delay to start installing the climate station due to land negotiations that took some days; and a delay to connect sensors to the data logger due to the delay of equipment in the customs, buying additional equipment and the changes in the Climate Monitoring Protocol. These delays caused postponing the deployment of camera traps in Array 1 from June to July 2014.

Logistical Problems: 

The shipments delayed in customs due to new tax exemption procedures.

Suggestions: 

There is a need to work on the part of the Volcanoes National Park site in the TEAM website since there are persisting problem of uploading metadata information.