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Kenya 2012

In October and November 2012, the EDGE Programme delivered its third EDGE Conservation Tools Training Course at Camps International’s  Makongeni Camp in Kenya. The course was attended by thirteen participants of which eight were awarded EDGE Fellowships.

EDGE Conservation Tools training course 2012

Each year, as part of the EDGE Fellowship programme, ZSL runs an EDGE Conservation Tools training course, bringing together early-career conservationists from around the globe working on mammal, amphibian and coral EDGE species. © Craig Turner / ZSL

EDGE Conservation Tools training course 2012

Based in the Coast Province of Kenya, in 2012 eight international and five Kenyan participants joined experts from ZSL, Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) for four action packed weeks of intensive training in the tools required to design, implement and manage successful conservation projects. © David Curnick / ZSL

Course outline

Through a series of lectures, hands-on practicals and assessments, participants were taught four core modules: the principles of conservation biology, ecological monitoring, social science surveying techniques, and applied conservation action. © Craig Turner / ZSL

Getting to grips with statistics

Participants had the opportunity to learn and apply a vast array of new statistical tools including: R, QGIS, Presence, Distance and Vortex. © Craig Turner / ZSL

To the boats!

As a break from the classroom, all participants had the chance to spend a day snorkelling. This was an opportunity for the participants used to working in terrestrial habitats to gain an understanding of the challenges associated with working underwater. © Craig Turner / ZSL

Like a duck to water…

For one course participant the snorkelling trip was his first time in water so, as this picture illustrates, extra precaution was taken! © David Curnick / ZSL

Community-led conservation initiatives

Visits to local community projects enabled the participants to learn more about community-led conservation initiatives in Kenya and think creatively about the applicability of some of the principles to their own projects. © David Curnick / ZSL

Lights, camera, ACTION!

To practice the media training that they were given, each participant underwent a series of interview scenarios. The interviews were played back to the group for constructive criticism and comment. © David Curnick / ZSL

Shimba Hills National Reserve

Towards the end of the course, the participants undertook a week of intensive fieldwork focusing on either terrestrial species in Shimba Hills National Reserve… © Craig Turner / ZSL

Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park

…or coral reef species in and around Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park. © David Curnick / ZSL

Small mammal surveys

In the grasslands of Shimba Hills small mammal surveys were carried out using Sherman traps. Early each morning the traps, which were baited the night before, were checked for mammals. When the animals were caught, they were identified and biometric measurements taken before being released back into the wild. © Caleb Boateng Ofori / ZSL

Herpetofauna surveys

Herpetofauna surveys were carried out in different forest types in Shimba Hills to assess the impact of human-modified landscapes. As with the small mammals, when the animals were caught, they were identified and biometric measurements taken before being released back into the wild. © ZSL

Camera trapping

As one of the mini-projects carried during the course, a grid of camera traps, spaced 1 km apart, was set up. Among the photos of leopards, duikers, and elephant shrews was this elusive aardvark - the most evolutionarily distinct mammal on earth! © ZSL / KWS

Coral identification

To successfully complete the marine fieldwork, participants first had to undertake intensive training in coral identification. © David Curnick / ZSL

Underwater surveys

Having honed their coral identification skills, participants carried out belt transect surveys to determine the coverage, by number and area, of Western Indian Ocean coral genera inside and outside of no take zones. © David Curnick / ZSL

Data is king!

With the fieldwork complete, all participants undertook the important task of data entry and analysis. Each participant then presented their findings through an oral and written report. © David Curnick / ZSL


All of the participants successfully completed the training course and were presented with certificates to mark their achievements. The EDGE team is now working with the course participants to develop EDGE Fellowships. If you are interested in attending the next training course and becoming an EDGE Fellow, please contact © David Curnick / ZSL