In our last blog about this year’s fieldwork season, we’re highlighting the work taking place overseas in the Gola Rainforest and Gough Island. Whilst very different places, both are long-established projects where scientific input has been critical, whether supporting the forest-edge communities living around Gola Rainforest National Park, or to better understand the impact house-mice have had on the thousands of breeding birds found on Gough Island.

Gough Island

Kim Stevens, one of our Senior Field Assistants on Gough, is using an inspection camera to check out a grey petrel nest with a recently hatched chick. The chicks are guarded for just two to three days before being left home alone, where they stay tucked away underground safe from avian predators © Vonica Perold

In May 2021 our Gough Island team (Kim, Vonica, and Roelf), assisted by a bunch of temporary field specialists (Alexis, Chris, Michelle, Peter, and Steffen), completed another census of the two endemic landbird species on Gough Island - the Gough bunting and the Gough moorhen © Steffen Oppel

The team trekked around the island during rather severe weather (May is late autumn in the southern hemisphere!) to ensure that we can accurately assess the effect of the restoration that started in June © Steffen Oppel

Gola Rainforest

The Gola team have been heading out to the pygmy hippo islands in the Moa River © R&M department

They’re setting up camera traps in the hopes of photographing the elusive pygmy hippo, but of course will end up capturing images of other large mammals as well © R&M department

Here's the Community Youth Conservation Volunteers training in Malema. The project started in 2016 with the aim to engage unemployed youth in key communities in close proximity to pygmy hippos habitat, and included conservation activities such as camera trap surveys, dung collection and community patrols © R&M department

In one of the Gola forest edge communities, Conservation Scientist Sorrel Jones is taking part in a focus group discussion with women. We are working to identify issues relating to livelihoods and food security so that the Gola programme can more effectively support women's empowerment and socioeconomic development.

The women are voting for the things they experience as causes of hunger during the scarce season. There are little pictures drawn in the dirt to represent different issues - things like rice being sold and the money being spent to pay school fees or medical costs, rice being used for funerals when a family member dies, animals eat the crops etc. Everyone has 5 stones they can allocate to the issues they experience as most important © Sorrel Jones

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