Please take a 60 second poll for Predator Biologist

Apr 16th, 2008, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 267
Bill, you contribute with so much information to the forum that your questions deserve to be answered.

1-Hoping for my SEVENTH safari?

2-No , but my children do when they come with me (2 safaris)


4-Possibly no. During my 8 days of safari a year I am too egoistic and also addict to the camera wich makes me already lose too many things , so having to fill up a list is not for me.
Once I return home and during the rest of the year it would not matter to me to contribute with any data obtained from my pictures or videos.

5-No but i have to admit that I check them just for fun . I learned with the passage of the years that camp reports serve to create false expectations that become deceptions most of the times.

PacoAhedo is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 705
(1) Somewhat Experienced -- been to Africa 3 times.

(2)We do this on our own anyway for our own purposes. I would want to keep the list I checked off instead of returning a form to the camp, but otherwise yes.

(3) Not really, but I do it anyway.

(4) Yes.

(5) Absolutely. I love reading those things.

Good luck with your project.

Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,869
1) Experienced by your definition.
2) I've never used a checklist.
3) Maybe, depends on what you mean by help.
4) Yes
5) To a limited extent, yes.
Patty is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
Interesting series of questions, PB. And very keen to hear more of what these questions are about.

1) Experienced
2) No
3) No
4) Yes, if I knew it would really benefit wildlife conservation.
5) I would have to say it depends on the lodge/camp/operator and how they would use the info in their reports.
divewop is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12
1) I suppose so ? - 10 trips including several in Africa

2) No.

3) Possibly as could be helpful to others (bear in mind I am a bit particular)

4) Yes if outcome shared

5) Yes as this would help shape a trip for me especially for rarer species
halpaed is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 79
1. experienced
2. no
3. maybe
4. yes
5. big yes!
wildcatzoo is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 17
1. First Timer
2. Yes, I've made my own from several sources.
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Yes and No. Monthly seems too infrequent to be useful. Weekly seems more useful to me.
jerrytufts is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 123
1)First trip to Africa in June 2008; lots of nature travel elsewhere.

2)Would use the checklist for fun, to determine what we might see, and to create tall tales about what that black blob in the distance must have been. The checklists are interesting to me mostly for the animals I haven't heard of or don't know much about -- to narrow down what that furry little creature might have been.

3)Yeah, but my checkmarks are unlikely to be reliable. See comment number two about identifying black blobs in the distance.

4)I would hope someone with a better eye than mine would be collecting such data! Although I can tell a hippo from an elephant, I'm not sure I can tell a mongoose from a meerkat. And is a smelly old polecat the same thing as a skunk?

5)Yes!! I've been obsessively reading the ranger sighting reports at the lodges and camps I'm interested in. If I knew that the data was based on guest checklists, I wouldn't pay much attention to it, frankly. Especially at the places with free booze!
isabel25 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 32
1) Experienced - 7 countries
2) No
3) No
4) Yes
5) No
I go on safari because I love the peace and beauty of the African landscape and also because I am a huge animal lover. If I see a lot of wildlife, so much the better, but I certainly don't count how many animals I see, or care how many other people have seen, unless it is for conservation purposes.
CUBANANCY is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 378
1.) 2nd safari starts next week (!!!!!!)
However, I'm the type that reads field guides at bedtime, and I have some field biology experience (meaning I'm generally pretty good at identifying species).

2.) No, although I do like lists. The reason I said 'no' is because a camp provided a bird list to me once, and I was too busy watching them to immediately check them off, and later forgot exactly which birds I'd seen due to the large number of species.

3.) Yeah, sure, why not.

4.) Yes

5.) Yes--however, as others have said, weekly is more interesting.

As with most data that is collected, information from checklists could be used for good as well as not-so-good (i.e., shameless self-promotion).

I often wonder if quasi-scientific data collection is occurring at camps and lodges.

For example, check this out: Big 5 Hotspots in the Kruger:
Gritty is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
1) Experienced (8; 9th in Sept)
2) No - I keep my own journal, but it's not just a list of what I saw.
3) No
4) Possibly - I shoot stills and video, so I don't know how I'd manage the list, as well.
5) Yes - MalaMala has done this and it was helpful, but I think the info comes from the rangers, not the guests.
ShayTay is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
1. Experienced
2. No - I do not like to see people and guides being pressured to record large numbers of sightings
3. Yes, if it will help people plan better safaris instead of blindly following glossy brochures placing them in the wrong lodges for the time of year. No, if it is used by lodges to exaggerate their sightings to attract bookings
4. No - I will not trust any data from the average tourist - how can they tell whether they saw a different elephant/secretary bird each day or the same ones?
5. It is fine but the need to market the lodge/camp will override the truth. And they will only highlight the few good days, and conveniently ignore the many days with poor sightings!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
1. three trips to East Africa

2. Yes, great fun in our vehicle, family only. Points off for false calls!

3. Yes

4. Yes

5. Yes
Novak is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
1. Not experienced, but not a first timer. About 8 weeks in the bush so far.

2. I have used a checklist in the past. Not while on a game drive, but marking things off when I got back to camp. Iíve used it mostly for birds. My handwriting is so atrocious that I donít usually take notes or write in a journal. Sometimes I also check birds off in my bird book, but again only when back at camp. But I wonít keep track of numbers seen, just the species.

3. Yes, but again not while on game drives, only when back in camp during siesta time since I donít nap.

4. Absolutely. However, IMO if wildlife conservation is being left up to touristsí checklists, then the camps are not doing their jobs.

5. Yes, I think it adds interest. I like to read sighting reports when planning a trip, or even when just dreaming about one. But it doesnít affect my decision on whether to stay at the camp or not. However, if Iíve already decided on a particular camp it might help me decide when to go. To me this question is like asking if photos on a website influence your decision to stay there or not. Maybe the photos of the accommodations influence peopleís decisions. Of course the wildlife photos are of interest. But, do the wildlife photos themselves influence my decision? Never, because I donít believe there is any connection between a glitzy web site and quality game drives.

I'm looking forward to hearing what this is all about and what you're up to Bill.
Dana_M is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 418
1. 2 safaris
2. yes
3. no
4. yes
5. yes
sallysaab is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 312
1) Are you an experienced safari traveler?

No. So far only 1 trip to the continent that included 3 safaris with 3 different companies. Like Isabel, lots of nature safaris elsewhere.

1a) or hoping for your first safari?

I have hopes to lure many people to the continent to share some of my interests with them via their first safari.

2) If a camp/lodge/operator gave you a wildlife checklist would you check off the species you have seen?

Any given dayÖ Yes. No. Maybe.

On this particular topic that you raised, anticipating the needs and takeaway wants of several friends that I have already enticed to EA; I have had to supplement by creating various *back pocket* animal & plant checklists on cardstock for their different safaris and treks up Kili and Meru.

If I were a camp/lodge/operator or guide:

a) At least I would offer a clipboard with a wildlife checklist for an easy way for clients to engage if that is to their liking.

b) Even if the clients were very knowledgeable and actively keeping details, they would leave with a list of the wildlife they saw throughout their safari from the guide. Every guide I met had the capability of *total recall* for the wildlife seen and every other detail possible, word spoken, clothing worn, bent tree etc.! This seems like a very basic service to me as a pleasure safari at its core = wildlife sightings (not by numbers necessarily, cheetah cubs Ė yes, I cannot imagine counting all the leaping critters Ė even in my own yard)!

c) I agree that sending a checklist prior to the trip is non-functional.

3) If the data from your checklist would help future travelers would that encourage you to check a list?
4) If data from your checklist would help monitor and conserve wildlife would that encourage you to check a list?

Pleasure safari -- cannot conceive any value.

My first glance at these two questions I gleaned this would be for assisting professionals with research and data collection behind the scenes? If this is the case, yes, I would count darn near anything, even ants for the opportunity to learn and experience nature and people on the continent of Africa in a non-commercial way. And yes, I would pay to participate as a lowly grunt if I believed in your project and the work was truly functional along with raising needed funds.

Curious, what exactly you meant here as it is entirely possible (probable) I have missed the meaning to these two questions.

5) If a lodge/camp/operator gives monthly reports on what they see does that add interest in their operation?

Educate the client. I want to be informed on the questions I do not know to ask! I would like the facts, truth, and all possible good and bad scenarios. No Spin. There is so much more to enjoy, experience, and learn about other than wildlife.

Honestly, if I were adventurous enough *pffft* to engage is such a business which is naturally quite dynamic BUT in this case where the *uncontrollables* are numerous beyond comprehension that even the most clever person must surely be relying on potential for (long list), some deep belief or hope -- I would totally educate, prepare and pre-qualify the client!
Denbasking is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 81
1.Experienced-only 2 safaris so far
4.Maybe,but depends on who is conducting and sponsoring the study,as well as how the data will be used...
5.Maybe.I have looked with interest at sites describing wildlife sitings at the camps,but am under no illusion that that is what I will experience when I visit.
toontowndoc is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
1)experienced safari traveler

2)yes if there were a good reason

3)yes so that's the reason




atravelynn is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 32
1.1st safari
2.hell yes (i love filling out forms!)
4.yes, not really (though, if they were to do it, I'd like to see it organized per month...january is generally good for XXXX sightings, february is good for blah, blah,blah...if that's even possible)
mdlopez05 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 09:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Huge thanks to everyone of you!! I appreciate your time and the enthusiasm and participation is dynamic, this really is a great community. Many of the comments are adding tremendous unexpected value on top of the basic poll.

I promise I will be forthcoming with a thorough explanation for those who are curious but I believe it is much more helpful to get your answers without being influenced by the project and the outstanding feedback helps me know how to explain things in a manner that will address the most common questions/concerns.

As responses are still rolling in I'd like to keep it going and in a day or two when it seems to have slowed down I will reveal the explanations for my interest in these questions. Thanks again!
PredatorBiologist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:58 AM.