The Department of Ecosystems and Conservation of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, in partnership with the University of Florence, MUSE – Science museum, University of Copenhagen, University of Bayreuth, University of Dar es Salaam, and College of African Wildlife Management, is continuing with the second part of the field practical training at the Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Centre, after a start session at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Partners implementing the CONTAN project are working with students on how to analyze camera‐trap data. Camera traps are increasingly used to study wildlife ecology and inform conservation, but valid inference depends on appropriate data analysis. Camera-trap data consist of species, station and occasion-specific detections, but both accumulation curves and capture–recapture-type estimators ignore the spatial component of the data, thereby losing interesting information on how richness may vary within a study area.
Students undertaking MSc. Ecosystems Science and Management, and MSc. Forestry attended practical training on the analysis of field data from the camera traps and the training was based on proper techniques using R-statistical software for systematic analysis.
The field practical training also includes training on primate survey methods as a part of the biodiversity assessment, monitoring, and conservation.
A total of 30 students of the Sokoine University of Agriculture attended field practical training on the ecological methods for studying mammals in Udzungwa Mountains National park, which is part of the Eastern Arc Mountains and form a diversity of life. It is among the 36 Biodiversity hotspots in the world harbouring about 36% of endemic plants and animal species. It is home to famous endemic species such as Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei), Udzungwa red colobus (Piliocolobus gordonorum), Udzungwa forest partridge (Xenoperdix udzungwensis) and rufous-winged sunbird (Cinnyris rufipennis), just to mention a few.
Mammals such as primates are good indicators of healthy ecosystems. They play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination.
Upon completion of the field practical training students were able to;