Thank you to SES Elodie Sandford Explorer 2017 Alex Braczkowski his recent progress and overall expedition update, following 7 months of fieldwork in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda – and yes, more of his incredible photography!
Research and updating the status of large carnivores in Queen Elizabeth, Uganda
Thanks to the support of the SES we are in the final weeks of our second leopard and hyena population density estimate in Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The second survey is being carried out in the remote southern sector (Ishasha) of the park and, although the conditions are incredibly wet at the moment, we are getting plenty of leopard and hyena detections. Myself and my research assistant, Sam Isoke, are also deep into the identification of the lions encountered in our survey. We will have a first run of lion numbers in the park by the end of June 2018 (yes, just a month away!). Leopard and hyena population estimates will trickle through later as the sheer number of images will take some time to analyse.
I have been shooting a number of still and video sequences for the SES over previous months and have recently aimed to document the main reasons as to why lions are being killed in the park – the use of wire snares and illegal grazing of cattle by community members on the edge of QENP. I have also continued to push the boundaries of getting unique imagery of lions in trees. I have attached some selects for the Society, including a lioness rescued from a snare earlier this year.
- Lion collaring – this will happen throughout June and into July, tagging 14 lions with satellite collars to be able to know remotely (on our cell phones) where they are on the hour, every hour.
- Conflict data – the assembly and examination of WCS conflict data and the creation of hotspot maps (using occupancy modelling).
- Leaving QENP in July 2018
- Returning in January for repeat surveys – this is critical for the estimation of key population status parameters.