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A Typical Day On A Conservation Holiday In Namibia Africa

A typical day on a conservation holiday in Namibia, Africa might not be quite what you're used to У and for your sake it might not be a great thing if you have an aversion to early mornings. Nevertheless, everyone who takes part in a conservation holiday flings themselves enthusiastically, it is, after all, an experience that you will probably only have once in your life.

It's an early rise for volunteers on most days and breakfast is provided in the camp, depending on what project you are working on you'll have a range of activities to carry out in the morning and usually a larger group is divided up into sub-teams so that the work can be completed more efficiently. Don't worry about missing out though У you generally get a chance to experience all of the different projects and if something really exciting happens, the company always make sure everyone is involved in the event.

In Namibia the most common project to be a part of is monitoring, surveying and helping to put together some educational materials about how humans, prey and predators (big cats) can live together without resorting to poaching. For this project therefore, you may find yourself capturing and collaring big cats, monitoring the movements and behaviour of animals and also counting game populations.

There are two methods to capture and collar animals, the first is to use a dart gun and sedate the animal, but this is very invasive so the method that is preferred is by cage trap. Each morning the volunteers will help to check the cage traps to see whether a big cat has been captured overnight. It is at this point when the animal is darted and immobilised to allow for samples to be taken for research. After the fitting of a collar and an antidote the animal is released as soon as it is ready.

Monitoring and tracking the study animals is extremely important and will usually be the task of one of the conservation holiday's team every day. By collating this information, scientists can really get an in-depth understanding of the animal's behaviour У where their territory is, where they prefer to rest, drink, hunt, preferred prey species and the frequency of kills.

Finally you might find yourself counting game populations, the information gathered allowing invaluable data to be collated about game numbers and also seasonal preference of different species. Another aspect of this is to conduct water hole observations, to see which species go to each water hole and it also gives a chance to do a survey about male to female ratios and the age of animals.

By: Paul Smart