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

Expedition Update: Final Leg

We are now approaching the last leg of the expedition and are en route to Salalah after an intense and enjoyable few weeks exploring and surveying Wadi Sayq. For our final foray into the Wadi, the science team ventured back to the junction connecting the two Wadis. A few days which turned out to be extremely eventful.

As if preparing to bid us farewell, we were privileged to sit in the campfire lit darkness with the sounds of a Leopard calling in the distance. An unmistakable sound, which none of us will soon forget. Throughout the days we completed a variety of surveys in the area ranging from birds to reptiles. During one bird survey we encountered two Arabian Cobras sheltering from the midday heat, whilst Verraux’s Eagles soared overhead, followed by a scorpion the next morning. Meanwhile, four Arabian Wolves suddenly appeared at base camp, before disappearing back into the wilderness.

While the Science team were at the Junction the other team went to retrieve the camera traps placed along the length of the Wadi. Our traps have recorded a great deal of footage of the wildlife that inhabits the area such as the Striped Hyena, which we have seen before, but now also have new videos that confirm the presence of Caracal and the Arabian Wolf.

After packing up Base camp for the final time we moved from the Wadi to the small coastal town of Rakyut yesterday and are now on the bus heading to Salalah before we fly back to the UK on Sunday. It has been an amazing and eventful expedition where we have all learned a great deal. It will be a shame to say goodbye to this magical place and its kind and generous people.

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.