James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Expedition Update: Botanic Garden’s

With our goal of exploring and studying Wadi Sayq well underway, here in the science team we’re working hard to pack in as many surveys as possible.

Earlier in the week we were privileged to be visited by Annette Patzelt and her team of botanists from the Oman Botanic Garden’s. A wonderfully interesting and educational few days were spent learning about the ambitious concept for the Garden’s which they are all working hard towards. We also assisted in the collection of a number of important specimens to contribute to their work, and in doing so we gained an unparallelled insight into the importance of this areas flora.

Since the Botanists departure, the Science group has moved into the field again, this time to the head of the Wadi to survey an area of water that was located by another of our expedition teams last week. The science has been incredibly exciting and successful so far especially regarding dragonfly’s with an astonishing 101 individuals being captured, identified and released in one day! We have also been busy conducting bird survey’s, as well as capturing amphibians and reptiles in order to take measurements adding to our current knowledge of the species we find.

Simultaneously, all camera traps have been collected and reviewed (watch this space for future updates!) and are currently being relaying by both teams. While the science fire is at the wadi head our other group members are focusing on relaying camera traps in the middle section of the Wadi this should enable us to get a realistic picture of the wildlife that occurs across the whole area.

In other news we have been lucky enough to have a Small Spotted Genet (Genet on Wikipedia) visit us at base camp and it appears to be a local resident. We’re also hoping to have at least one meal at our satellite camps that aren’t interrupted by someone spotting a new species of Gecko, and the ensuing mandatory challenge of capturing and identifying it.

Best Wishes from everyone here from Balmy 37 degree Oman, to a snowy England.

James, Emma, Soo, James, Paul, Faye, Lawrence and Terry

This article was originally published over on the BSES blog. If you would like to support conservation in Oman then there are lots of ways you can help. If you found this story interesting, then why not tell a friend and help make more people aware. Better yet, we’re returning to Oman next January and you or someone you know could get involved – find out more here.