Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another Gabon season ends

It has been another wonderful few months in Gabon this Fall, and as always there are many people to thank for enthusiastic support of my work there. First and foremost I thank the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Wildlife Trust, WCS – CCRP (Marine Program), the WCS Gabon Program (Africa Program) and the government of Gabon.

In particular, the following individuals provided invaluable support and assistance: Buddy Powell, Cyndi Taylor, Susan Kahraman and Julie Hughes (Wildlife Trust), Tim Collins and Howard Rosenbaum (WCS-CCRP), Lee White, Romain Calaque, Alden Whittaker, Tomo Nishihara, Rich Parnell, Angela Formia, Christian Tchemambela, Josie Demmer, Ruth Starkey and Leonie (WCS- Gabon Program), Rombout Swanborn (SCD), Solange Ngouessono and Augustin Mihindou (Gabon Ministry of Water and Forests), Bas Huijbregts and Bas Verhage (WWF), Christian Otando and Jean-Alain Pambo (Sette Cama Safaris), and John “DeDe” Mboumba (Ibonga).

The fundraising effort continues and I plan to apply for at least 9 different grants this coming year in order to fund GPS tagging/tracking and genetics work to get a clearer picture of manatee population distribution throughout Gabon and throughout the species range (from Mauritania to Angola). This is the next step after the past 2 seasons of preliminary surveys throughout Gabon. Fundraising could be a fulltime job if I didn’t have another fulltime job! But I’ll keep at it because I think the work is important, the species needs all the help it can get, and I appreciate all of you who help me with it.

Photos of a few folks:
Bas Verhage (along with some delicious grilled fish at a local restuarant in Gamba)
DeDe and I in Gamba (yes, I've covered the countryside in WT t-shirts!)

Alden and Angela

Josie and Tomo

1 comment:

lavagirl143@yahoo.com said...

It's so nice to find someone who enjoys Gabon. My husband's job took us there for six months - we've been back in Texas just a month. We were only in Port-Gentil, which is like an island.

I miss it terribly - the people, the scenery, the food. Sadly, there weren't a lot of animals around POG, but friends of ours would bring back photos from their ultralight flights into the bush.

One of the iconic bars in POG is called Mamiwata, situated between the water and the largest pothole/mudhole I've ever encountered (wide as the road and deeper than a Rav4 in height!). Quite an interesting place, particularly by western standards, but the Castel and Regab were cheaper there than anywhere else in town.

It doesn't like we'll be doing another stint in Gabon anytime soon, unfortunately, but I will be keeping up with your travels there.

Bonne chance pour votre travail!

Bess