We were all up and at breakfast for 6:30am today and we got served a hot breakfast with bacon, egg, beans and mushrooms! Some of us also got to try rusks, which is a South African oat-like cookie that is dipped in coffee. At 8:00am we got a lecture from Dan on research design and statistics to help us start planning our research projects. After the lecture we all decided the topics of our projects and designed a research plan. Students will be doing projects on camera trapping looking mammals at water holes, live small mammal trapping, bat sonar detection, elephant behaviour, bird diversity at water holes, plant diversity and soil type, diet of giraffes and ungulate vigilance behaviour.
After lunch we had our first skills lab on camera trapping and the later rodent trapping. Dan and Jess showed us how to properly set up and test the cameras. This included having to walk and crawl in front of the camera to ensure it was taking pictures close up and at different distances from the camera. Janine demonstrated how to properly set-up the rodent traps. We had to set up and put bait (oats and peanut butter) in 30 rodent traps then place them in various areas around the camp for a research project. The traps will have to be checked by everyone at 6 am tomorrow (our earliest morning so far yayyy). Some students went out to place the camera traps for their research projects while everyone else went back to the main lodge to work on their projects and journals (or chit chat).
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This blog comes to you from Marissa, Emily and Taylor.