Greetings to the blogging world!
My name is Michelle Rodgers and I am a MSc student in Natural Resource Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The world of conservation is so vast in its disciplines that it is difficult single out where one’s interest lie. At the moment, my interests are in nocturnal mammals, GIS and remote sensing, and ecosystem services.
During my studying journey, I developed a passion for all things nocturnal and hairy. It started in 2015 when I did my Bachelor’s degree internship with a small organization that does research on the rare and elusive black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) in South African Karoo. While tracking and observing these cats every night, I got so intrigued by all the nocturnal activity and I wanted to see and know more. My following projects all followed suit and involved night surveys to determine species diversity and abundance.
At the end of January 2017 I completed my Honours in Natural Resource Management mini-thesis. My project looked at bioturbating medium-sized mammals (diurnal and nocturnal) and their ecosystem services and compared it between a bordering livestock farm (Ebenhaezer) and private game reserve (Kuzikus Wildlife Reserve) in the Kalahari. I determined species richness and abundance, quantified their burrows, looked at productivity around burrows and rangeland management implications. Little is known about these bioturbators’ effect in Namibia, so my study had some interesting findings. This project was just a snapshot of the bioturbating effect and my Masters project is expanding on this by including additional study sites and ecosystem services.
I plan to blog on my nocturnal studies and field trips, interesting things that I find/see, and my opinions on conservation issues/news. I look forward to comments/opinions on future blog posts and contributions from my fellow authors.