Last night we arrived in Accra! After a long journey with a lot of heavy luggage we finally made it to Ghana.
Andrea Dempsey, the country coordinator for WAPCA, was at the airport to meet us. We will spend the next few days with her and her husband, Brendan. After a long day and some food, it was straight to bed to get a rest before our first full day in Ghana.
We then spent today buying the last few items of equipment in Accra and had a visit out to Accra zoo. WAPCA currently have several enclosures for white naped mangabeys and a roloway monkey enclosure located here. We spent the majority of the afternoon waiting for these monkeys to call so that we could collect some recordings that could help us in future analysis. Some patience paid off and we were able to collect these successfully.
Tomorrow we will head west to Cape Coast, where we will spend the night before travelling towards our field site on Sunday.
It’s almost 8pm on Sunday the 21st of January 2018. In approximately 96 hours Ryan Nolan and myself will arrive in Accra, Ghana. My name is Adam Welsh and I will be completely honest when I say I am brand new to blogging.
Since October of last year both myself and Ryan have been MRes Biological Sciences students at the University of Chester. More recently we became the first ever Twycross Zoo Conservation Scholars. For the past few months we have been planning our research project in conjunction with West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA). This project is focused on the conservation of 2 endangered primate species in southwestern Ghana. The white naped mangabey and the roloway monkey are amongst some of the most cryptic primate species in West Africa. For the next 3 months, it is our intentions to survey one of their last remaining strongholds to gain a clearer picture of how they survive in the wild.
What happens over the next few months is hard to predict. I’m sure it is going to be a very interesting ride indeed. In fact, we will probably read this back to ourselves upon the completion of field work and have a good laugh about all the things we couldn’t predict would happen. We have both conducted field work in tropical Africa before so we are very aware of some of the potential challenges that lie ahead. There are always new ones though. This being said I cannot deny that I am very excited to get out into a tropical forest again. I am also hopeful that the work we carry out can answer some big questions about our elusive target species. What habitat types do they occupy? Just how tiny are populations? Does human encroachment threaten their prolonged existence?
We have collected all of the necessary equipment and we are almost ready to go. I hope you enjoy reading about how our work unfolds over the coming weeks and months. It’s exciting times ahead.