Gearing up for Samburu


Louise Bell International Intern

Date Published

I am now into my second week of my internship and experiencing my last five days at the Nairobi head office before I set off to Samburu National Reserve on Saturday to join the STE research team. I am especially excited now I have spent the weekend visiting the local elephant orphanage and Nairobi National Park. Following copying the slides of illegally killed elephants into digital format I have also been assisting Gemma and the team here with administration duties. There are endless amounts of paperwork to be completed at this side of the organisation so I have been helping getting internship applications together for students wishing to come in 2011. The head office side of an organisation is often forgotten about when thinking about conservation so it is nice to meet the team here and see what they all get up to on an ordinary day. Checking post, paying bills, planning trips and of course making sure that the research camp is equipped with all the resources they need, are all daily duties of the office.

I am just about to start my project for save the elephants and I am assessing the capture probability of elephants when they are in the park compared to the observational data collected by the Samburu team in the Long Term Monitoring (LTM) project. Although I am scared of GIS info following a short course at university as part of my masters I am hoping I will be able to learn some more. Surely putting an elephant swing onto it will certainly make it more appealing! I am now trying to gather all the collaring dates of all the elephants entering the park to see how long they spend there before they head out of the reserves. Hopefully, they will spend a fair amount of time there as this is where they are safe. This may be a big job but will certainly be worth it.