Earthwatch scientist Taku Awa II and colleague Malcolm Burgess** successfully captured two rock fowl in the Mbam-Minkom forest in the Yaoundé massif, Cameroon. They were supported in the field by Earthwatch volunteers and Earthwatch funded African students. ***
"The coloured rings will allow volunteers to identify individual birds, which will tell us more about dispersal, nest site loyalty and lifespan" explains Taku Awa II. "Volunteers will also be trained to radio track the tagged rock fowl and the information gathered will be used to increase protection of the remaining fragmented forest and create a buffer zone around existing nest sites."
Ringing and radio tracking will greatly increase our knowledge of the ecology of this enigmatic bird. Earthwatch scientists and volunteers will now be able to determine the rock fowl's preferred habitat and this new information will enable Earthwatch to work with local communities to protect this unique bird and its forest home****
Roger Mitchell, Chief Scientist at Earthwatch Institute (Europe) says, "The introduction of radio tracking to this project not only helps to increase our understanding of rock fowl ecology, it also adds an interesting dimension to the volunteer experience. Training in radio tracking techniques should prove extremely valuable for the many African students who join this project and who will then be able to apply these new or refreshed skills to other research projects across the continent."
Find out more about the Earthwatch project 'Saving Cameroon's Rock Fowl'.
For press information, images and interviews, please contact Zoe Gamble, Press Officer, + 44 (0)1865 318806 / email@example.com
Photo credits: © Doug Peters/Earthwatch