Half way through – what are we doing at WWCT
Although our focus was on the bird monitoring and butterfly surveys for the Patch Forest Project biodiversity research we ended up having a variety of other tasks as well, camera trap maintenance included. This involves the setting up, checking and moving of cameras, the finding of new locations and also the processing of the pictures in a specific way.
As part of the mentioned biodiversity study we frequently observe bird and butterfly activities at all three stations we work at: Gal Ola Lodge, Sigiriya Back of Beyond Lodge and Dunkeld Conservation Station. Therefore, we go out daily early in the morning (for birds) and during sunny middays (for butterflies) on a previously set-up fixed transect and count all observed individuals, the habitat they are in, their activity and the distance to the transect (for possible future density studies). Everything then is processed in an excel table and later on analysed using Excel or EstimateS. Biodiversity indices such as the Shannon-Wiener Index eventually give us a number we can compare to other similar research. It is already spectacular to see how many endemic species can be found at the sites!
Everything is rounded up with guest relations and interactions such as guided nature walks and talks about our projects within the ones of WWCT in the different research stations. It enhances our communicational skills and improves our way of talking that will eventually help us in education and awarenessraising.