Really happy to be getting back on the African Bat Conservation Urban Mops project, which I started working on as student here back in 2017 whilst doing my MRes at Nottingham Trent University and for which I was a Bat Conservation International Student Grant recipient! The study is looking into how humane roost exclusion affects the White bellied free tailed bats roosting and foraging ecology. As we have a roost which is suitable for the study, we take a drive out to scope out the lay of the land ahead of any tagging potential. It is always so important when radio tracking to understand the area as signals can get interference from structures like electricity pylons! it also gives you an insight to what the road network is like, as you need to be able to move around easily. We cannot drive on roads as quickly somewhere as bats can sometimes fly and losing a bat means you have no data!
In addition to that, other exciting bat stuff is that we have finally managed to survey inside the banana plantation! Every time we have tried this survey here, it gets cancelled due to thunderstorms! We ended up had a really successful night bat surveying, though when we finally made it sadly Remi had already departed but at least Gwen got the chance. The time before and on Remis last night we tried to do the survey here but just as we where about to open the mist nets (seen above), we could see huge dark clouds starting to head our way, so we ended up packing down.
That night was a great success however as Remi and Gwen made us some super delicious tempura, which I just love. It was a super effort of delicious vegetables and Remi also made her famous egg roll I keep hearing about from the others. Afterwards we chilled out with some Malawi gin and ended up watching the Mighty Boosh. So, good night despite the lightning ? Although the two volunteers have departed now (and Lena only last week), the Carnivore Teams new Research Assistant joins us from the UK! So many changing faces here at camp… We take Chirag out to watch some rugby at Harry’s bar in town and get some nice BBQ there too! Good way to start his time here…
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