This month brings the SEABCRU Flying Fox Workshop 2013 to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This follows on from last year’s SEABCRU Flying Fox Workshop in Hat Yai, Thailand, which brought experts and practitioners from across Southeast Asia together to work on protocols and methods for monitoring and surveying populations. The objectives for all the priority workshops in 2013-2014 are a little different, namely that they stimulate research in areas that currently lack expertise or initiatives. The Flying Fox Team identified Cambodia as just such a “network gap”, so the majority of participants have been drawn from Cambodia, and surrounding countries (southern Vietnam, Thailand), and are a mix of students and NGO representatives just starting to get into Flying Fox Conservation. We will be reviewing methods for assessing population size, identifying species, and the study of diet and disease of flying foxes as well as practicing these methods in the field.
This training workshop will be conducted in an interactive manner promoting the broader conservation goals of the SEABCRU network, which are to:
• Share experiences among participants and countries in addressing the different priorities
• Refine research and training protocols that can provide for better integration and synthesis of research across the region.
• Link research processes and outputs with conservation efforts in and among SE Asian countries
• Work to collate current data on distribution and abundance of SE Asian bats; inform database development and parameterization
• Identify future directions for research within and across priorities
• Network expertise across countries
The workshop is hosted by the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and is conducted in collaboration with FFI-Cambodia Program. The SEABCRU FF team leaders will all be there (Sara Bumrungsri, Tammy Mildenstein, Paul Racey, Kevin Olival), supported by Sheema Abdul Aziz and CE Neuvo. Neil Furey, of the SEABCRU Cave Team heads up the local host team, along with SEABCRU members Phauk Sophany and Chheang Sarak. Danny Squire, the SEABCRU IT Program Manager, will be introducing and familiarizing participants with the SEABCRU database which we are rolling out in full in the New Year. The workshop runs 17th-19th and I’ll be posting photos and updates as we go along.