Monday, April 25, 2011

New Truck for the Bongo Surveillance Program!

This new field vehicle, made possible by a generous contribution to RSCF by Mr. Ken Coe, leveraged by the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust (and with special consideration by CMC Motors in Nairobi), is dedicated to the Bongo Surveillance Programme. It will be used to transport the BSP team into remote, mountainous terrain across the Aberdares, Mt. Kenya, Mau Mt. Eburru and surrounding areas to conduct bongo monitoring and surveillance, collect DNA samples, perform GPS/GIS surveys and maintain a vigilant presence to help protect the last wild mountain bongo populations. The one-owner vehicle is turbo-charged for high-altitude use, and is equipped with all-terrain suspension and tires, intake snorkel, and bull guards to protect the drive-train and occupants. This vehicle replaces the well-worn Toyota Hilux purchased by RSCF six years ago, which ferried RSCF Research Associate into the field during his Ph.D. research on mountain bongo, and subsequently became the BSP's first dedicated field transport.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Endangered Exotics in our Backyard...

Since the 1940s, a ferel population of endangered Green Cheeked Amazon parrots (Amazona vidirigenalis) has nested in Palm Beach County.  RSCF has monitored this group for many years, photographing the flock, filming inside nest cavities and banding babies.  The group has begun nesting again this year, and yesterday RSCF staff visited the flock to assess nests and breeding activity.  Six active nests were discovered so far, and we will continue to monitor the group closely.  Green cheeks are native to Mexico and are considered endangered in their native country. 

Here are a few shots of the colony, which includes individuals of other Amazon species including Double Yellow Head (Amazona ocracephala oratrix), Blue Front (Amazona aestiva), and Orange Wing (Amazona amazonica).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RSCF Welcomes Dr. PJ Deitschel to our Team!

RSCF is thrilled to welcome Dr. PJ Deitschel to our staff. Dr. Deitschel will serve as our on staff veterinarian and resident farm manager.

PJ brings to RSCF 27 years of knowledge from working with over 300 species of wild mammals, birds and reptiles. A passion for animal advocacy led her to the field of wildlife rehabilitation where she gained extensive expertise in urban wildlife issues while managing a large rehabilitation center and sanctuary in NY. Recognizing a need for experienced wildlife veterinarians, PJ returned to school in her home state of NM and subsequently obtained her DVM from Colorado State University. She pursued her interest in wildlife medicine as the veterinary advisor for a conservation foundation in South Africa and then as the Clinic Director for CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) in Sanibel FL. Most recently PJ served with Wildlife Operations and as a Natural Resources Advisor on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill response team. She shares her home life with a laid-back lop-eared house rabbit named “Yebo”.

Welcome aboard, PJ!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Mico Video!

Here is a funny little video of Mico discovering a hat in his enclosure...