Sadly it is not going so good data collection wise as it is so cold over here! It is never so cold in Malawi and the temperatures mean that bats are just simply not emerging from the roosts in the evening making it impossible to get out and tag bats for my part of the study. Amelia has also gone back to the UK now so just me here, trying to crack on with the White bellied free tailed bat project. of course the other students are still here so I am not on my own. Been getting out meeting locals and making friends. Even went to watch a local basketball game!
Also got to go out with carnivore team a few times in the day looking for scats and doing den checks. Also got to help with the baiting and this meant getting to see hyenas! This is part of Carnivore Research Malawi’s ‘Urban Hyena Project’ through which they monitor the urban hyenas here in Lilongwe. CRM is conducting behavioural ecology research on the hyaena clans occupying the city, find out more about what they do check out – http://www.carnivoreresearchmalawi.org/
Once the weather picked up again we were able to get out to catch some bats at a roost as part of the study to radio track for foraging data! I also trained up some of the ABC staff, so that they could continue collecting data for the project, so fingers crossed the weather holds up for some good night of tracking! We managed to tag three more White bellied free tailed bats for the study, so hopefully we can understand more on their foraging ecology in an urban environment. Also have so much data to process and sort before heading back. Going to have some long nights ahead writing this all up!