If you’re a guide, or just interested in learning about ecology in Tanzania, there are a lot of resources out there – from JSTOR journal articles (available online at CRC), to local colleges, to books on the Serengeti and other ecosystems.
However, for something more up-to-date, have a look at Colin Beale’s “Safari Ecology” blog. Colin’s one of our members and has run training programmes in statistics for ecologists at CRC – his blog covers issues on ecology of the savanna habitats in East Africa, birds, and just about any other topic you can imagine. In the past few months, he’s looked at:
- Myrhh (Commiphora) trees, and some of their uses;
- Why termites are so important in savanna ecology;
- Snake venom;
- How kopjes form.
“Safari Ecology” is a great reminder that ecology isn’t tied to textbooks and science – Colin keeps us abreast of some seriously current events. If you were around Arusha in February, you couldn’t help but see the millions of butterflies that were seemingly everywhere – while this was pretty amazing just on the scale of your backyard, or on a safari, it turns out that the butterflies were part of a large migration that covered much of northern Tanzania. With the assistance of blog readers and many of the safari guides who Colin has trained, he was able to develop an online map of where they were, where they weren’t, and the direction they were headed.
View Butterfly eruption 2012 in a larger map
“There are not a lot of new resources around for guide training, or specific for our region” says Colin. “We wanted to develop some materials that were more relevant, and that covered a lot of the sorts of questions people give you while on safari.”
The blog also makes announcements about guide training courses.