14 May, 2013 § Leave a comment
When we went out to Morocco, Sian asked us to find some Vitamin E oil or similar for reducing scarring. This was for a young girl in the village of Lahcen where they work who had had some hot oil splashed on her face and hand the previous week. The woman had approached Sian and Ahmed to help and of course they rushed her to hospital and made sure that she was admitted and got the right treatment. Sian wanted to make sure that the girl had the minimum scarring from the incident, especially since the wound was on her face.
The whole affair made me think about in situ conservation projects and their interaction with the local people. I think all too frequently conservation projects focus on the animals or the habitats without considering the impact on the local people. Without building a positive relationship with the people whose lives are impacted by both the wildlife and the efforts to protect it I feel success is limited. While we were driving around with Sian and Ahmed we often picked up shepherds and school kids and families and gave them a lift to wherever they were going. We stopped to talk to everyone and everyone recognised the monkey bus and waved. Without this kind of relationship with the people how much success can conservation achieve?
I found it incredibly inspiring to see the respect and affection that the project has for the people and the people for the project. I look forward to having a chance to work with BMCRif in the future.
5 November, 2012 § Leave a comment
A long silence due to us taking a little break for personal reasons but we are back up and running now! Firstly an event. If anyone is around the Oxford area and wants to hear me talking a little about what MASC is and how it was set up then come to Oxford Brookes, Gypsy Lane Campus, Room something! I seem unable to find out which it is. If you are interested turn up at quarter to six and ask for the Monkey Monday or the Monday night seminar series. There should be people around to point the way!
9 October, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m writing a couple of papers on vervets at the moment. One is on arrivals data from a vervet sanctuary I used to live at in South Africa (Vervet Monkey Foundation). The other is an attempt at a compilation of vervet crop-raiding data. I’ve got a few thoughts on these two topics.
One – sanctuaries seem to have been relegated to a welfare issue, on the fringe of conservation. Sanctuaries are on the front line of conservation efforts. Their inclusion in a holistic approach to species protection seems obvious. Their potential for education outreach, on top of the rehabilitation and sanctuary they provide, is something to be harnessed. They have valuable information on threats in local areas, if databases are kept and updated. They would make good bases for researching local wild populations. Some things to think about.
Two – crop raiding vervets are irritating! Primates are too intellegent for any barrier methods to work and vervets are too bloody annoying to go away and too much of a pack of generelists to say no to pretty much any crop! Oh and I am surprised at the lack of crop-raiding studies from South Africa. I’ll see what I think about this when I’m finished it. Right now I’m at a impasse…
There are some monkey thoughts for now.
Irritating to farmers and tourist spots, yes. Beautiful and in need of some help – definitely.