The rains have delayed this season. Usually, by this time of the year, the skies are dark with near daily billowing storm clouds. Instead, they are dark with the migrating Abdim’s stork, which spiral above in the hundreds. Taking advantage of the delayed onset of the rainy season, we easily maneuvered the terrain in our Landcruiser. Without the long grasses to obscure warthog holes and termite mounds and without the muddy waters filling the luggas, the off-road driving is relatively simple, making surveys and behavioral observations an unobstructed endeavor.
This particular field season was busy for the research programme in Uganda. In addition to the annual population census, DNA sampling and collaring in Kidepo Valley National Park (outlined in the Kidepo Valley Field Report), we also conducted our seasonal demographic surveys and resource selection studies to better understand the ecology of giraffe in Murchison Falls National Park. Although the terrain is easier to navigate, the giraffe tend to be more dispersed in smaller groups throughout the park during the prolonged dry season, making the work equally challenging and equally rewarding