Every year the Percy FitzPatrick Institute and Wild Bird Trust undertake the Okavango Wetland Bird Survey. This is a nine-year project that aims to use 71 wetland bird species as indicators of significant change in the flood regime and functioning of the Okavango Delta. The survey involves “poling” ourselves over 250 miles across this enigmatic alluvial fan in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. In 2013, the expedition was dedicated to the declaration of the Okavango Delta as a UNESCO World Heritage Site next year. Our teachers are the baYei River Bushman that have lived in the delta for over 250 years after migrating down from the Zambezi Valley with their “mokoros” or dug-out canoes. We have learnt how to pole mokoros safely past dangerous game, how to feed ourselves from the delta, and, most importantly, how to navigate the patchwork mosaic of channels, floodplains, lagoons, papyrus, reedbeds and thousands upon thousands of islands.
Please go to intotheokavango.org for a unique into our world on expedition. This collaboration between Jer Thorp and Steve Boyes, both 2013 Emerging Explorers at the National Geographic Society, is an effort to represent rich data from a research expedition into one of the remotest locations on earth LIVE online for the world to see… We had a transponder updating our location live everyday and, at the end of the day, we would upload all bird sightings, comments, photos, and sounds from the day. We even had data from temperature loggers and heart rate monitors uploaded live each day.
Please have a look at the presentation on the Okavango Delta at the 2013 Explorer Symposium in Washington DC at the National Geographic Society: http://youtu.be/vAiP1iOv23M
PLEASE READ LINKS TO BLOGS UPLOADED EVERYDAY ON 2013 EXPEDITION…
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.
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