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Explorer Moment of the Week Information

In the spring of 2014, ecologist and epidemiologist Christopher Golden led an interdisciplinary team of Malagasy research and citizen scientists on an exploration of the behavior and ecology of some of Madagascar's least known mammals the tenrecs. With efforts focused on the common and hedgehog tenrecs, Golden and his team set up traps throughout patches of forest in northeastern Madagascar's Makira Natural Park. Data they collect will assist their understanding of the species' population dynamics, ranging behavior, and disease status.

"Madagascar reports nearly one third of bubonic plague cases worldwide each year. Why this is the case is largely unknown, but researchers have discovered that Malagasy rats appear to be more immune than rats elsewhere. The hedgehog tenrec also seems to be incredibly immune to the disease and could facilitate spillover events into local rodent populations or perhaps directly to humans via fleas.

"What's so exciting about studying tenrecs in the wild is that so much is completely unknown. As far as I know, this is the first time that a wild density for these species will be established, and it will be the first time that anyone has trapped, tagged, and monitored their activity and ranging patterns in Malagasy rain forests. We'll be able to collect data that could allow us to regulate the disease dynamics of the plague.

"Each morning we "Anadrol 50" head into the forest before sunrise to see if any tenrecs have been captured by our traps. If they have, we'll anesthetize them, collect all the ectoparasites from their bodies, measure body parts, and collect blood samples. Then we attach a 30 gram transmitter to the back of the animal using an incredibly sticky epoxy. After release, we can track activity and ranging patterns using radio telemetry.

"Tenrecs are not only important because they pose a disease risk to humans, but also because they compose more than 70 percent of the biomass of wildlife consumed by local people in the Makira region. They are, therefore, heavily reliant on robust populations of tenrecs for food, yet a disease transfer event could prove devastating."During the dry and wet seasons of 2013 and 2014, National Geographic Waitt grantee Stephane Caut and a scientific team were dropped via helicopter into the Kaw Marshes of French Guiana to study black caimans. Caut was interested in the resident caimans specifically because the Kaw population's genetic isolation meant that habitat change or disturbances could be measured easily. Caut hoped to understand the role of this top predator in the swamp ecosystem and its survival rate over one year. Caimans face many threats, but human activities such as poaching, pollution, and habitat destruction make it one of the most threatened crocodilian species worldwide.

"What makes Deca Durabolin Jak Brac our research unique, but also stressful, is the isolation of our study site. The good thing is that there's no direct human impact on this ecosystem, but the isolation also makes logistics quite complicated. "Achat Anabolisant Belgique" We were dropped via helicopter onto a very small floating "Anaboliset Aineet" platform in the middle of marshes and caimans with enough supplies for five people over a week. There was no room for failure!

"Night catching of caimans over ten feet using a "Anaboliset Aineet" same size metallic boat propelled by one's own efforts because the dense aquatic vegetation makes the use of an engine impossible is a real extreme sport! We wrestled eight foot caimans into the boat, facing high risks during the sampling protocol (blood sampling, biopsies, measurements, and pit tagging). But for larger caimans, the rodeo begins, and after several minutes of an intense fight, we tie them to Anavar 5 Week Results a tree to get the sampling protocol done.

"But after all, these harsh conditions represent for us a hope for the future. Despite increases in technology and transport methods, nature still remains impenetrable in some areas of the world. We must fight to keep it like that!"

Stephane Caut, National Geographic Waitt grantee

Over the summer of 2014, zoologist Rowen van Eeden is observing, tagging, and releasing martial eagles (Polemaetusbellicosus) in Kruger National Park, South Africa. The eagles' numbers have seen steady declines due to various factors, including conflict with farmers who fear livestock losses; electrocution from an ever expanding Dianabol Atlas-Dom power distribution network; and, most damaging, habitat degradation, which limits nesting opportunities and food sources.

"Every time I have the opportunity to tag one of these beautiful martial eagles, I can't help but to be left in awe of the power, size, and speed of the bird. Their feet have incredible crushing force and deadly talons, which require extreme caution when handling.

"Studying martial eagles in the wild is an extremely time consuming activity and no easy feat given their enormous territory sizes. We travel extensively just to find one bird perched in the perfect position to trap. It took five days and over 1,200 kilometers [745 miles] of travelling to find this small male. We placed our specialized trap alongside a tourist road, but the bird took no interest in the trap and soared away! The next day we returned and as luck would have it we found the bird perched just a few hundred meters from where we sighted it the previous day. We positioned the trap and he was caught. The bird was then measured, blood samples were taken, and he was ringed (banded) with colour combinations.

"When processing an eagle, my training takes over as I ensure to handle it quickly and safely with absolute professionalism. Releasing the eagle happens in an instant the adrenalin is replaced by pure exhaustion and a huge sense of accomplishment and joy.

"Tourists are encouraged to re sight the bird as part of a citizen scientist project. These reports then form part of an adult survival analysis and are also used to estimate home range sizes and floater population sizes to determine whether adult survival might not also be a root cause for the observed declines in Kruger."

Rowen van Eeden, Conservation Trust grantee

This summer, National Geographic grantee Caleb Kruse and expedition team member Jordan Fatke are traveling across the United States in a refurbished ice cream truck giving away free ice cream and starting dialogues with children about climate change along the way. Documenting their journey, they intend to create a film presented through the eyes of a child and how children perceive climate change.

"We stood on top of our retrofitted ice cream "buy cheap jintropin online" truck in complete awe. The serene beauty of the setting sun glimmered off of the never melting snow on top of the mountains, setting the landscape of Glacier National Park on fire. Did we just drive an ice cream truck through one of America's most pristine national parks?

"It was hard to believe that a little over a week ago we were sitting on the white sand of Ocean Beach in San Diego watching the sun disappear behind the endless Pacific Ocean. The road to Glacier consisted of a strenuous 2,703 mile trek in our 1988 Chevrolet step van that on a good day can reach a comfortable cruising speed of 50 miles per hour. Our diet on the road has mainly been consisting of ice cream, tortilla chips, and coffee.

"Even though we are just in the first few weeks of our two and a half month road trip, reaching Glacier National Park felt like a milestone for us. As we stood on top of the truck, we thought of all the stories we have heard and all the incredible people we have encountered on this expedition so far. They combat any exhaustion or ill balanced diet."

Jordan Fatke, team member working with Young Explorer grantee Caleb Kruse

Ice Cream Expedition

In 2013, Expeditions Council grantee Julia Harte and team member Anna Ozbek traveled along the Tigris River from southern Iraq to southeastern Turkey, visiting ancient sites and modern communities along the river before the completion of the Ilisu Dam, an 11 billion cubic meter dam that will generate approximately 2 percent of Turkey's power. Along the way, Harte and Ozbek documented the human toll of Iraq's chronic water shortage, water worshipping Mandaeans in Kurdistan, the last cave dweller of the soon to be submerged 12,000 year old Turkish town of Hasankeyf, and more.

"We found these Arab nomads in northwestern Kurdistan, near the Domiz camp for Syrian refugees, in early May. A group of about 25 men, women, and children lived in the camp, accompanied by a herd of several hundred sheep. A patriarch of the family named Akram Hallom Hussein told us that the clan gets most of their water from the Mosul Dam, which is fed by the Tigris River. But when the river drops, he said, the water in the dam tastes 'bitter.'

"Akram and his family used to camp outside of Kirkuk, about 100 miles southeast, but moved up to their current site in 2007, when the sectarian conflict in central Iraq became too dangerous for them to stay. Apart from their concerns about the declining level of the Tigris River, their situation seemed stable when we met them last spring. The nomads joked around with us as they sheared and milked their sheep, the children chasing each other around the colorful tankers in which they haul water.

"A year later, with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in control of the city of Mosul and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Iraqis in northwestern Kurdistan, it's hard to imagine where these nomads are now. As violence from central Iraq and Syria squeezes Iraqi Kurdistan from either side, forcing huge populations into the relative safe zone, the danger of water shortage looms larger than ever. Yet the Turkish government continues with megaprojects such as the Ilisu Dam, which threatens to more than halve the amount of water entering Iraq through the Tigris River."At the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, National Geographic fellow and photojournalist Joel Sartore uses a special cloth shooting tent to photograph a black stork. Sartore is on a mission to photograph every captive species in the world for a project called the Photo Ark. The goal is simple: to get the public to look animals in the eye, and then to care, while there's still time to save them.