The crusaders

Crusader #1 ©Ben Baker

The last couple of weeks have run pretty smoothly in terms of the radio tracking, most of the frogs are staying close to ghaut and their last locations. There are only a couple for frogs that have challenged us to find them.

667 this individual, has gone up on the east bank of the ghaut, high up and likes to hang out on burrow system under a rooted tree stump. We get his signal below the ground and it is impossible to see into the system. We have gone over a week reading his signal in the same place underground. You start to think the worst at this point and start to think about trying to dig him out. Then one night you go up and he is out! Thankfully, then he is once again on the run from us!

Another frog that keeps us in our toes is the pioneering 208. He was one of the first to chickens to head up and away from the ghaut, after a long daytime search a couple of weeks ago after he ad been missing a while he was found high on the western fork of the ghaut. Since then this chicken has taken to moving between the east and west fork of the ghaut, it’s a half hour walk from the main groups of frogs just to get to him, so an hour just to go up and come back down!

The dry season kicks in

The dry season is well and truly under way now, I thinks is rained only once this week, and in the early hours of the morning. The leaves are really starting to drop from the trees, it actually adds element of danger to being in the forest, the treacherous footing everywhere! The leaves are all shinny and slippery and a minimum of a couple of centimetres deep, and boy do you slid when your walking down hill! It also makes walking over the rocky ground difficult as you have no idea of the terrain it is hiding.

Mountain Chicken Under Cover ©SL Smith

The dry season also means that our chickens have gone for cover. We can locate them with the radio-tracking equipment, but getting a visual on them is another story altogether, we might not even see them for a number of days. They are finding the deepest refuges under the rocks, in burrows and you have no idea what the leaf litter hides.

By Jenny Liman, Volunteer


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