Ever since Simon Valle (now Bangor University) and Nat Annorbah finished their PhDs on Grey Parrots here at MMU, we’ve been itching to start more work on this stunning but troubled taxon. The opportunity arrived in the form of a grant from the newly formed Parrot Wildlife Foundation See their website, a French charity dedicated to parrot welfare and conservation run by Eric Vignot. Stu had spent a very pleasant week in early March with Eric and Irina in Dominican Republic, kicking off Andrea Thomen’s PhD on parrots on that island. Now it was time for something a little tougher.
|Above - Simon talking about Timneh's range (Photo: Amy); Below - Stu introducing the science behind the simple encounter rate method (Photo: Simon)|
There are two main components to the project – a workshop on Timneh Parrot monitoring and a survey of the parrot across the Gola Rainforest National Park (GRNP). This post describes the former and some thoughts on how Timneh Parrots can be monitored effectively but practically long term across their range.
|Relaxing after practicing fieldwork in Gola|
|Lovely t-shirts and other course materials - thanks to Bearprint Design, TinnedSnail, and Amy Marsden (Photos: Amy)|
The course is only the beginning of our work at Gola. Simon is starting five weeks of fieldwork right across the National Park to estimate abundance and habitat needs of the species. The first step on this exciting journey was to check out reports of a large parrot roost in a community forest close to Gola with Patrick Dauda of the park’s Research & Monitoring Department. We were unable to see parrots at what seems to be a ‘flexible’ roosting area, but hope that Simon and Patrick will be able to return to the site to check on numbers of parrots in the area.
|Checking potential roosting tree in one of the community forests on the border of the Nartional Park (Photo: Amy)|