OK, despite all the little problems we’ve experienced so far – such as no snakes! We now have four Forest Cobras who are ready to become famous pending health checks and transmitter installation.
So, project commences on Monday. We will keep you posted as we closely follow the daily movements of one of the Forest cobras helped by our small army of volunteers.
Everyday they will be traipsing through the bush armed with a radio transceiver, altimeter, barometer, a variety of thermometers and a trusty pencil to bring us cutting edge information.
In the previous post I mentioned a Forest Cobra project, so here is a bit more information to explain what I meant.
There are always concerns about re-releasing snakes after capturing them. Many people believe that the snake will return and seek out human populated areas, whilst others believe that the snake will become disorientated and not survive due to the change in its surroundings.
But, the forest cobra is one of the biggest and most intelligent African snakes. With a team of conservationists and scientists, we will track the daily movements and interactions with people of some Forest Cobras.
This study is an attempt to determine whether translocated cobras (captured on agricultural/domestic land and released in protected areas) differ in their movement patterns compared with resident individuals. Forest cobra movements will be recorded by means of radio-telemetry. Each snake will have a transmitter surgically implanted into the body cavity and is then tracked using a receiver and antenna.
In addition to movement, other data will be gathered daily such as; ambient temperature, actual temperature, altitude and vegetation type.
So, Donald Schultz rocks in here late last night, and after an early night wakes up with all the energy of a kid on Cream Soda.
He can’t wait to get filming for our Forest Cobra telemetry project.
Using telemetry units no bigger than my finger, we are going to track the movements of a few Forest Cobra as they go about their business. The units have a range of 10km, and each day we will travel to find one particular Cobra and record his location. The rest of the Forest Cobras will be left undisturbed and follow them using GPS to get a true representation of their movements without unnecessary human interruption.
All the Forest Cobras are over 2m in length and to give them the maximum chance of survival will be de-wormed, screened and health checked before release.