Blogs from the field - how many batteries?

We've had an update from Neil and Nigel who are currently out in the Philippines.

The logistics of getting high tech gear to work in remote locations is one that many wildlife conservationists face. In our case, we want to obtain the first-ever pictures on the Negros bleeding heart dove in one of the last remaining patches of forest on Negros, Philippines.

We don’t know how many individuals of this critically endangered species remain in the wild, but a reasonable estimate is below 300. Movement-triggered cameras are one way of refining such estimates, so Nigel Simpson (Curator of Birds) and I have lugged out 12 field cameras to set up in the forest where bleeding heart doves have been seen previously. In the next week or so we will be putting these cameras into the field, and hopefully recording what wildlife still exists in the Mantiquil forest.

The cameras we brought from the UK as we knew they would be difficult locally. The weight of the AA rechargeable batteries and chargers however meant that we elected to pick them up in Dumaguete. Which we did, but only after emptying the largest department store of their entire stock. “How many batteries?” asked the store assistant, unable to comprehend that we wanted 98 AA rechargeable ones, which was more than they stocked. So eventually we scooped up most of the stock left in the town and we now have loads that have doubled in weight to lug up the mountain over the weekend. Fingers crossed that we get the evidence we need to confirm that we’re working in the right spot, and please watch this space for further developments – and a picture of bleeding heart doves on Negros!


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