One of the main things I’ve always found incredibly exciting about wildlife conservation is the collaring of animals. Firstly, it is the chance to see your study animal up close, which for many people is a rare thing, and secondly, it is a massive insight into where the sneaky gits go. I couldn’t believe my luck when Anya informed me she had another GPS collar and that we would be setting some trap cages in order to catch and collar a cat. Eeeeeeiiiiii! I had to rein in my excitement, I knew it wouldn’t be as easy as ‘here kitty, kitty!’
Category Archives: Sri Lanka
Whatever you do, don’t say something stupid!
Wildlife conservation is a funny thing. People are all for protecting animals and saving the planet but rarely think past the cute fuzzy emblem. As the human population continues growing rapidly and parasitizing the world, more and more habitats are being destroyed leaving innumerable species under threat (I know! Quite a dark beginning for one of my posts, but it gets happier –I promise). Continue reading
The silence…………… well almost
Zoooooooom! Brrrrrrrrup! Beep beep beep! Brrrrrrup! Honk honk! Oh, the constant noise surrounding this damn hostel!! It gets a tad quieter after 11pm but it starts up again just before 6am, usually initiated by the insanity-inducing bread van. Imagine a chubby little brightly coloured tuk with windows filled with bready goodness. Cute, right? Wrong! Oh, so very wrong! In Sri Lanka everyone is competing to be heard, from the constantly screaming horns of the vehicles to the walking candyfloss man who rings a bell and shouts (just like the good old days during the plague). Continue reading
What lies beneath
We had another study site to visit called Biyagama and I was told it was quite a tuk-tuk drive away, which was fine by me as I love them, I’d bring one home if I could. I suppose they reflect my nature, excitable and not all together there. Our tuk-tuk driver/ field assistant, Maduranga, finds my obsession with them highly amusing, especially when I become really animated if we drive past a tuk sales lot. I can’t help it, they’re adorable and they come flat-packed! It’s like an Ikea car!
Food! Glorious Food!
Visiting another country is all about immersing yourself in the culture and, for a greed monster like me, that means the chance to scoff loads of new tasty food. My philosophy for discovering new dishes basically follows 1 rule, if you can’t pronounce it or have no idea what it is –then eat it! This has worked really well for me so far. Luckily for me I also have insider knowledge. Anya, my Sri Lankan friend and field work buddy, is also a food beast so when it comes round to lunch she knows just where to go. I seem to have the best of both worlds, guaranteed great food for lunch and I also get to explore places for myself when it comes to dinner time.
Where the wild things are
After finishing our urban habitat surveys we moved on to our second site, located outside central Colombo at some unpronounceable (Thalawathugoda) reclaimed wetland. Earlier in the year Anya had captured and collared a fishing cat that, due to his unfortunate habit of stealing chickens, had to be relocated and this was the area that was chosen:
Snow White and the multiple room mates
Living in a hostel is 60% great and 40% a pain in the arse. The positives are that you learn all the hostel quirks to your advantage. For example:
– Which shower is the largest (by about 5cm but as Tesco love saying, ‘every little helps’) Continue reading
Into the breach!
My first day of actual real field work had arrived and I was nervous as hell. I wasn’t worried about bugs, mud, snakes, or even the heat (well, not too much), it was more a nervousness that I would be of no use what so ever. I’d worked my arse off during 4 years of uni and left with a good degree and a Master’s. Unfortunately both were taught theory courses so, with the exception of a month’s field work in South Africa, I felt I had no practical field experience. I was excited about learning a whole new set of skills but desperately didn’t want to be dead weight. Continue reading