Daraja Education Fund wrote -
Peter Barto is creating a Wildlife Monitoring Project at Daraja Academy, located in Nanyuki, Kenya. Students will conduct an ongoing survey of resident and visiting wildlife through the use of camera-traps and observation. Daraja Academy, situated in Laikipia County and not far from Mount Kenya National Park, is rich in animal life, and it should be very exciting for the students to learn what types of species walk the wild corridors there where they’re living!
How will we do it?
Using equipment purchased through this fundraising effort, as well as training via videoconference, student-members of the Daraja Conservation Club will learn to set up and maintain an array of motion-activated wildlife cameras, strategically positioned along game trails near the campus to capture animal movement along these corridors 24 hours a day.
During scheduled visits to the cameras, the girls will inspect the sites and note any visible evidence of animal activity, change the batteries to the cameras, and collect the video cards from the cameras to take back to campus for analysis, including notation of species diversity, populations and behavior.
All of this data will be logged and shared (including, hopefully, with such Kenya-based wildlife research groups as the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the Leparua Community Conservancy, and other groups studying animal behavior in the shadow of Mount Kenya). The students will learn about wildlife conservation methods, scientific analysis and protocol, team collaboration, as well as additional skills that can potentially help them find careers working with one of Kenya’s most valuable resources – its amazing wildlife.
This project could also involve members of the various high school “Daraja Clubs” here in the SF Bay Area, as the videos or photos taken by the cameras there in Kenya can be uploaded to a cloud-database, and this shared data can then be analyzed locally. This could lead to the students here in the U.S. sharing data from our own local wildlife conservation groups, giving the Kenyan students a view into wildlife on the other side of the globe. Exciting stuff!
- Peter Barto -- Creator of the Wildlife Monitoring Project, Field Research Volunteer for the River Otter Ecology Project, and father to two exceptional young women who have greatly influenced Daraja Academy through service and fundraising
- Ginny Fifield -- Bay Area-based wildlife researcher and camera specialist
- Megan Isadore -- Executive director of the River Otter Ecology Project
- Paola Bouley-- Director and co-founder of the Gorongosa Lion Project
What do we need?
HD cameras; Security cases; Llocks with key; 32 GB Video cards (and video card readers); Rechargeable AA batteries and battery chargers; Kenya wildlife guidebooks (such as The Kingdom Field Guide to African Mammals); Digital cameras (for recording any visible evidence at the camera site found during a check); Measuring tape; Notepads and pens; GPS device
We need your help! I realize there are many, many worthwhile projects in the world to donate to, and I’m hoping this one might resonate with some of you. If you are indeed interested in helping out, there are two ways to give tax-deductible donations: (1) you can write a check to the Daraja Academy, and reference Conservation Club in the memo line, or (2) you can click 'Donate Now'.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - Peter Barto