A Volunteers Experience with the Bridge Survey Research

Four weeks at Diani Beach is not enough. Originally I was only meant to be at the Colobus Trust for two weeks, but was very lucky to be able to extend my stay here. The time has absolutely flown by and we have definitely been kept busy with all the work to be done. Along with an introduction in the field to most of the regular Colobus Trust activities there have been many extra jobs for the staff and volunteers.

As a volunteer much of the last two weeks has been spent on the side of Diani Beach Road surveying the colobridges (Colobus monkey bridges). In pairs we are sent out for six hours to conduct a traffic survey and record the number of monkeys crossing the road using the bridges. It is valuable research for the Trust and so far seems to be proof that the colobridges are being used effectively. Although so far I have only seen the Sykes monkeys regularly using the bridges and not the colobus or vervet monkeys. Baboons on the other hand are regulars on the road and do not use the bridges, which causes a high risk of accidents. We have also learnt the hard way how to deal with baboons ourselves. After multiple lunches and snacks were stolen and feeling that we were being stalked and tormented by hungry baboons a little too close for comfort, we had to forgo taking packed lunches and deal with being hungry for a short while.

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