The expedition left Wadi Sayq yesterday morning with a feeling of great fulfillment. Not only have we successfully captured footage of the Arabian leopard in Wadi Sayq but we have recorded and understood much of the biological diversity that exists there. We have investigated the ecosystem as a whole by exploring the various taxonomic groups such as birds, reptiles, insects, rodents and bats. We have shown Omani rangers the methods, and hopefully the importance, of studying these groups. And we have shared this knowledge and understanding with 150 school children at 5 local schools.
As I sit here in ‘Cafe Maestro’ with a refreshing watermelon juice and a stack of data sheets my thoughts turn to the next stage of the research. Collating and analyzing the data we have relentlessly collected over the last 5 weeks is an exciting prospect. I hope we can observe trends in the animal communities throughout the wadi, highlight biologically important areas (hot-spots) and provide information on the globally threatened species we have recorded in the wadi system.
I will check in soon with some species numbers and statistics on my return to the UK and thank you to the Oman Explorers who have offered to help with post-expedition data analysis and report writing.
For now, back to the Arabian sunshine – much more pleasant for the whole team now we have fully acclimatized!