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Citizen Science Milestone

2 min read

Updated 01 September 2021

Picture of Chris McIntyre

By Chris McIntyre

Managing Director

*A version of this article originally appeared in the September 2021 Bush Telegraph newsletter. You can read our recent newsletters and sign-up to receive these in your inbox on our Bush Telegraph newsletter page.

While all of us in the Expert Africa team are mad about wildlife, many of us – with backgrounds ranging from physics to economics and geography to zoology – are as fascinated by facts and figures as we are with the latest safari hotspots.

Back in 2018, we pooled our scientific skills and animal addiction, and launched a Citizen Science project to better track the wildlife in the areas in which we specialise. Our hope was to quantify our travellers’ sightings from various camps and parks to enable us to build up a picture of the animal populations in East and Southern Africa.

We wanted to be able to quickly and accurately compare sightings to educate ourselves, improve our travellers’ chances of seeing their favourite animals, and help our partners on the ground monitor wildlife changes. Understanding how any animal population changes over time is vital for many conservation initiatives.

This project relies entirely on the support of our travellers to record information about their sightings of 26 key African mammals. We cannot thank our amateur researchers enough for embracing our idea: this week we passed the milestone of 30,000 wildlife surveys received.

Already wildlife researchers have begun to use our data: one research group has been able to extend their distribution map for the brown hyena as a result of our findings.

In time we’re sure that these insights will help researchers more and benefit conservation across many species and areas. Meanwhile, for now they certainly help our team and our travellers to understand the chances of wildlife sightings in places that they plan to visit.

Check out our wildlife tracking pages to seek out the best spots for your favourite mammal, and give us a call if it isn’t featured so we can use our own knowledge to guide you more precisely.

If you’ve been inspired and want to find out more, give us a call or enquire now to speak to an expert.

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