To protect our Wildlife we must conserve our Wilderness and for our Wilderness to be meaningful our Wildlife must be able to roam free within it.
Half way through – what are we doing at WWCT

by Anskar Lenzen/ Lea Milde on 10/22/2017 9:36:21 PM

Sept 2017.
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.

Expectations – met or not?

by Anskar Lenzen/ Lea Milde on 10/22/2017 9:35:33 PM

June 2017.
After a lot of e-mail contact before coming here we got different information and expectation of this place. We discussed that our focus will rather be on the newly set up Patch Forest Project  biodiversity survey than on the analysis of the camera traps and all our expectations when coming here were basically met. We did biodiversity studies (with focus on birds, bats, mammals and bees) before and so we had a bit of experience. With a basic set up from WWCT we started the surveys in 2 of the 3 stations we worked at and were very much free in our decisions how to collect, process and analyse the data. To be fair, expectations are always different from what you will do eventually so of course there were also some difficulties in the beginning. Being confronted with choosing everything on your own and then getting feedback on your made decisions afterwards was new to us but it challenged us in problem-solving and strengthened our self-confidence. However, there was always the possibility for contact between Anjali and Andrew and us and regular discussion/feedback rounds in Colombo. They supported us with all materials we needed to fulfil our own research. 
Before WWCT

by Anskar Lenzen/ Lea Milde on 10/22/2017 9:34:54 PM

Anskar Lenzen & Lea Milde – Van Hall University, Netherlands
April 2017
We both had a passion for animals, nature and wildlife lifelong. We eventually met in the language course of our current bachelor study, Animal Management with the major Wildlife Management, in the Netherlands (we are both originally from Germany). Our first internship we did apart, Lea in South Africa and Anskar in Ecuador. For our major internship (just before the start of our bachelor thesis) we decided to do something together on a continent not one of us has been to. As our university did not have any offers in south-east Asia we took it on ourselves to find something suitable. We both had a thing for mammals and already worked with camera traps before in different countries, so WWCT sounded very suitable to us.

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