How many buffalo do you see?

That’s exactly what the HALI team was asking this October in Ruaha National Park. No, it wasn’t a safari or game drive, just another day at the office for team members Annette Roug, Deana Clifford, Goodluck Paul, Erasto Katowo, and the Ruaha National Park veterinarian, Dr. Epaphras Alex.

The HALI team relaxing in Ruaha after a long day of counting buffalo.

The team spent four days in Ruaha testing different methods for counting buffalo to find the best method for determining the number of males and females, and young and old animals in each herd.  The team counted animals from the project Land Rover, and also video taped the herds to see if video playback will assist with the count.  Why you might ask?  Well, determining the number of calves and cows, the body condition of the buffalo,  and the number of buffalo in each herd is an important first step for determining if Ruaha’s buffalo populations are declining or impacted by disease.  Additionally, the team collected fecal samples from buffalo and impala for disease and parasite testing.

After the initial sampling effort, Dr. Roug, who is a PhD candidate from UC Davis, will be refining her study approach and applying for funding to conduct additional buffalo health work in Ruaha in collaboration with the Tanzania National Parks.

There are 41 buffalo in the picture…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s