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Posts Tagged "Laikipia Plateau"

Expeditions

Lessons from Laikipia

Serval

The last portion of my stay in Laikipia was a bit of a whirlwind, but I managed to accomplish my goals for the field session and make it home from Kenya safely. It was nice to be back and catch up with family and friends, but I’m also already looking forward to returning to Laikipia [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: the Honey Badger did not care

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

The past week yielded one carnivore excitement after another around here. Things started off with a bang on Monday: a rare sighting of a pack of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). They eluded me the last time they made an appearance at Mpala, but this time I managed to get to the right place at [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: Intraguild Interactions on Camera

Dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula)

Fieldwork continues to go well: we had a record day on the grid earlier this week: seven carnivores in one morning (plus an unfortunate striped ground squirrel, just for diversity)! That haul included my very first capture of a dwarf mongoose. The number of species in my dataset is climbing, slowly but surely… One of [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: Rain Dance and Dog Excitement

African painted dog (Lycaon pictus). Photo by Alex Hoyle

The rains have come! After the brief tease of a storm that I mentioned in my last post, we had a driving downpour the next day. Of course, the worst of the rain hit right when my field assistant and I were out in the middle of my trapping grid setting bait, but that’s just [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: Mesocarnivore Update

Leucistic slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea)

Mesocarnivore trapping has kept me extremely busy for the last couple of weeks, but the results have been encouraging. So far I’ve had very heartening trap success rates (especially considering that I’m sampling carnivores, which usually yield notoriously low sample sizes). The cast of characters so far includes white-tailed mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda), slender mongoose (Galerella [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: What is a Mesopredator?

As I’ve mentioned before, my research in Kenya is focused primarily on the effects of rainfall on mesopredator populations, and how these effects may differ in places from which apex carnivores have largely been extirpated.  This begs a critical question: what is a mesopredator, anyway? The answer is not as simple as one might think. [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: First Scouting Session

After a few days spent settling in at the field station—getting oriented with the vehicle (read: learning to drive manual shift on the opposite side of the vehicle from what I’m used to, in a Land Rover on bouncy bush roads), gathering some supplies from town, and doing overall game planning, I finally made it [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: I have arrived

Well, I made it to Kenya successfully, seem to have conquered my jet lag, and am exciting about getting my fieldwork in motion. After spending a couple of days doing meetings and errands in Nairobi, I am headed off to my field site in the Laikipia District. Laikipia is truly one of Kenya’s treasures, from [...]

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Expeditions

Laikipia Plateau: mesopredators in Kenya

Jambo, everyone! My name is Anne-Marie Hodge, and for the next four months I will be conducting the inaugural fieldwork session for my doctoral research in the central highlands of Kenya. In this blog series, I will narrate my experiences as I delve into the inner workings of mesopredator populations in that region, and I [...]

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