21 September 2010

This weekend we were excited to host Andrew Murray and Jasper Montana from the BBC's Natural History Unit. They are filming a series which is, for the moment at least, called 'Unnatural Histories' and they were interested in taking a look at the South Rift as an example of how people and wildlife coexist within the same landscape - a rare but precious part of their story. They were intrigued to find out how the local people feel about the concept of 'pristine wilderness' and the part that they as Maasai have played in shaping its ecology through time. They interviewed the Chairlady of the Olkramatian Women's Group, Titieyo Meiponyi and John Kamanga the Group Ranch Chairman as well as simply enjoyed the scenery.

We are happy to have finished a back-breaking week of transects and vegetation plots. It was quite an introduction to new carnivore research team, but I am happy to report that we all survived the long days and nights in the vehicle with almost all our bodies and minds in one piece, thanks to lots of tea breaks. I was very happy to see the enthusiasm Dave and Erika showed in trying out some new camera techniques which may make vegetation plots in the future much less laborious... if only we had started this three years ago!

03 September 2010

Construction Update

Construction of the buildings is coming along nicely. There are noticeable changes in some of the structures every day. From top to bottom: visitor's kitchen, staff housing, staff kitchen, local women making screens out of local materials, and research offices.