Trading patrols in Virunga’s jungles and savannas for some continuing education…
With all the daunting challenges faced by Virunga’s rangers, working smart, as well as hard, is key. Covering 7,800 square kilometers of park is no easy task under any circumstances and especially not with a small ranger force. That’s why rangers Sekibibi Bareke and Urbain Butsitsu headed to Rwanda recently to attend a special software training that will aid rangers in estimating plant and animal populations.
Here is how their days were spent:
Day 1: Introduction to ecological sampling, distance sampling (line transect and point transect sampling), assumptions of distance sampling, data editing and importing, analysis of distance, modeling detection function, relative and absolute measures of fit, overview of distance analysis, and line transect exercises
Day 2: Variance estimation, point transect sampling, survey design, equipment training, data collection protocols, post stratification, data interpretation and extraction, field methods, and other uses of distance software
Day 3: Field work and analysis of collected data
Now back in Virunga, rangers Bareke and Butsitsi are training other rangers on the use of this tool and how to verify results against actual samples. Virunga National Park would like to thank International Gorilla Conservation Programme for funding their attendance at the seminar.