Tag Archives: education

What were medical students doing at ITFC?

These last 5 weeks, ITFC had some special residents: 6 students of Mbarara University’s Department of Community Health were based at the Institute for their ‘Community Placement’ and worked with Ruhija’s Health Centre III. Yesterday they gave their final presentation at ITFC and said goodbye. We have enjoyed their company, enthusiasm and curiosity!

The team of six came from different medical education programs taught at MUST: Hashaka Alex and Anyindo Benson are 4th year students of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Odongokara George is a 4th year Bachelor’s student of Nursing Science Completion and Ariaka Herbert, Takusewanya Moureen and Nimanya Alice Stellah are 5th year Bachelor’s students of Medicine and Surgery.

Here they are: (f.l.t.r.) George, Benson, Stellah, Alex, Moureen and Herbert


The students’ stay in Ruhija is called a ‘Leadership Development Project’, meant to expose medical students to the reality of community health work in a remote rural location, working as a team and taking up a challenge together. They started with assessing the status of health care in Ruhija, by spending time in the Health Centre and going around the community talking to people and looking at the availability of latrines and handwashing facilities. After about 2 weeks they listed what they saw as the main challenges and came up with a little project for improvement.

The Ruhija HC-III mostly receives patients with respiratory tract infections and allergies, as well as those for AnteNatal Care (ANC). The team observed that few couples come for HIV testing, that many households had no hand washing facilities near latrines, that people stock drugs (fearing shortage when they need it) and thus deplete supplies and waste a lot, that the uptake of family planning is low and that only 20% of women attending ANC come to the Health Centre for delivery.


The students presenting the findings of their project to ITFC staff. Unfortunately the staff of the Health Centre and the Subcounty were missing.

The team took up that latest problem as their challenge: how to increase the percentage of women delivering in the Health Centre rather than at home.They organised sensitisation of ANC patients, subcounty staff and church goers to convince people of the importance of delivering in a safe environment.

All six said they had really enjoyed their stay in Ruhija, at ITFC particularly: “We were told we were placed at ITFC in a place ‘Buhija’ (sic) no-one had never heard of and arrived trembling what conditions we would find. We think we were so lucky, because staying at ITFC was very comfortable and we were made to feel at home from the first day”. June was quite cold, though, and the students were often seen all covered up in woolen hats and thick coats. “But then again, walking those steep slopes around here made us feel very warm”, said Herbert.

We look forward to receiving more such medical student teams from MUST! We found them very interested in our work too, with many questions asked about gorillas and working with communities in particular. For our staff, the students were a welcome enrichment of their social life!


The Press or the science journal? Where should a scientist look first?

As long ago as 2005, a Norwegian scientist published research findings in a science journal stating that the lives of people living on certain slopes of Mt. Elgon were in danger because of looming landslides. However, neither community members nor local authorities got this information early enough to migrate from danger. On the 1st March 2010, the settlement suffered from landslides that left 92 people dead, 300 people missing and 300,000 displaced.

“Just being able to conduct your research, write a thesis and publish a paper in a peer reviewed scientific journal isn’t enough. Most scientists are funded by the public, not by journals. Why then spend millions of public funds on a study, only to publish findings in a scientific journal and not in the relevant local press?” Martin Robbins of The Guardian (UK) mused.

Such is the tone of proceedings at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) science communication workshop, that took place in Nairobi last week. With about 25 science journalists and 7 communication officers (of research institutes) from various African countries, the main theme of the training was to equip journalists with a better understanding of science methods and skills to effectively report science. At the same time, it trained communication officers in ways to get research findings published in the mass media. INASP and their Nairobi partners – Information Africa Organization -facilitated the training. Media houses represented included Uganda’s Nation Group, New Vision and Observer, Namibia’s New Era, Nigeria’s Observer and Guardian and many others from Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Somalia and Kenya.

Science communicators from 9 African countries

Science communicators from 9 African countries

In one of the sessions, communication officers and journalists were asked to air their opinions about each other. Interesting  issues were raised:

  • Scientists and their communication officers only consider publishing in peer reviewed journals worthwhile and seldom consider contacting the local press about their study’s findings.
  • While writing press releases, there is a tendency for research communication officers to emphasize their institution’s image rather than the actual issue of the release.
  • Researchers are often uncooperative with the press. They only want to bring in journalists after publishing in a peer reviewed journal. Journalists on the other hand, feel they need to be informed from an early stage in the study.
  • When researchers contact the press, they often provide expert information that is hard to be interpreted by a common journalist.
  • Research institutes should outline duties and responsibilities for their communication officers that include attending to the public, through the media. Time and finances ought to be budgeted for this.

For over 6 hours, Owuor Otula (a veteran journalist and publisher of Science Africa) took us through drills of how to write publishable press statements, ways of managing excellent media relations, ways of regularly developing stories from research institutes to the mass media, and how to interest the mass media with the institutes’ researchers and studies. It was exciting!

The training closed with participants being awarded certificates and also being enrolled into a one-year mentoring program still aimed at enhancing the quality of science communication in Africa. This program is coordinated by INASP and the African Federation of science Journalists (AFSJ).

Certificates' award by AFSJ President

Certificates' award by AFSJ President

Going by the daily evaluations, our understanding and perceptions of science communication changed significantly during the training. Learning to communicate research better and to the right audience may be the basis for preventing fatalities such as the Mt. Elgon case mentioned above.

from a cool Nairobi?

Greetings from a cool (and confused?) Nairobi.


New Website on Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites Launched

A new website about Africa’s World Heritage sites has just been launched.

This website contains information about some of the most spectacular natural places on Earth, as well as our most precious cultural heritage. From the pyramids of Egypt to the snows of Kilimanjaro, this website takes you to the heart of the continent, with the help of an unrivaled collection of some 4,000 stunning photographs, together with maps and information on each of Africa’s world heritage sites.
Our very own, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is included in the prime pages(http://www.africanworldheritagesites.org/african-natural-world-heritage-sites/Great-Rift/bwindi-impenetrable-national-park-uganda.html).

Publications and brochures related to the various  sites may also be downloaded rom the website.

With such a wealth of information provided, awareness about the conservation of these properties is hopefully enhanced.

Have you had the opportunity to visit a World Heritage Site? How do you view their conservation status?
Let us hear your thoughts.



Save the shaggy rat! The challenge of conserving neglected animals

Protected areas in SW Uganda include significant populations of several globally threatened animals. While mountain gorillas, elephants and chimpanzees have received a lot of attention, many smaller animals in the region remain poorly known and neglected.

The last few weeks we have been putting together a proposal to address conservation of neglected species with a particular focus on local wetlands. There are quite a number of these animals in the IUCN red list that identifies vulnerable and endangered species: 5 amphibians, 11 small mammals and 4 birds. The list would be longer if we included endangered reptiles, fish and invertebrates. We also excluded several other frogs, mammals and birds about which we know too little to say if they are endangered or not (e.g. Bwindi’s new Boubou bird discovered last year). So our 20 species, though neglected, are not the most neglected animals — we don’t even have names for most of the forest’s insects, spiders and other invertebrates.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Good mountain gorilla habitat, but also home to many less charismatic animals, also in need of conservation

The majority of these species specialise on wetland habitats for some or all of their lives. Their persistence depends on maintaining particular wetlands within the wider landscapes they inhabit. These restricted habitats are threatened by a range of factors – both within and outside of protected areas. To safeguard these key locations and their endangered species we need to identify them and ensure that they are managed against both immediate and long-term threats.  That is the focus of the proposal we were developing.  But neglected species are not easily promoted.

Bwindi mouse – hard to sell as a conservation concern?

An unnamed Bwindi frog — easier to like?

Bwindi spider — if this was an endangered species would anyone care enough to try and save it?

Why have these species been neglected? Well, they are hard to see and don’t have the obvious charisma of the gorillas, chimps and elephants. I suspect that their names are also a problem — how many people are willing to visit the forest to see an animal called a “rat” even if it is the “Montane shaggy rat”, the ” Medium tailed Brush-furred Rat” or “Kemp’s Thicket Rat”? It’d be even harder with snakes and spiders. Not sure how we can change that. At least the birds and frogs are pretty.

Here is our list of the smaller species of immediate conservation concern, scientific name, common name and they the  IUCN red list category — limited here to only Vulnerable (VU) and Endangered (EN). All these species have been reported in the region (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Echuya Forest Reserve and perhaps in some of the surrounding wetlands).  It’d be nice to have pictures for you but (aside from the birds) we dont have any …


1.        Afrixalus orophilus , Western Rift leaf-folding frog , VU

2.        Hyperolius castaneus, Ahl’s reed frog , VU

3.        Hyperolius discodactylus [= H. alticola], none, VU

4.        Hyperolius frontalis , none, VU

5.        Phrynobatrachus versicolor, none, VU


1.        Delanymys brooksi, Delany’s swamp mouse, VU

2.        Lophuromys rahmi, Rahm’s brush-furred rat, EN

3.        Lophuromys medicaudatus , Medium tailed brush-furred rat, VU

4.        Praomys degraaffi , De Graaff’s praomys, VU

5.        Thamnomys kempi [=T. major] , Kemp’s thicket rat, VU

6.        Crocidura stenocephala, Kahuzi swamp shrew, Narrow-headed shrew, EN

7.        Crocidura tarella, Tarella or Uganda shrew, EN

8.        Dasymys montanus, Montane shaggy rat, EN

9.        Myosorex blarina , Montane mouse shrew, EN

10.     Ruwenzorisorex suncoides, Ruwenzori shrew, VU

11.     Sylvisorex lunaris, Moon shrew, VU


1.        Bradypterus graueri, Grauer’s swamp/Rush warbler , EN

2.        Cryptospiza shelleyi, Shelley’s crimson-wing, VU

3.        Muscicapa lendu [=M. Itombwensis], Chapin’s flycatcher, VU

4.        Pseudocalyptomena graueri, African green broadbill/Grauer’s broadbill, VU

So what do you think? Should we care about the rats and shrews and the spiders too? Let us know if you have any ideas how the plight of these animals might be better marketed to the World!

Best wishes


Bwindi’s Teachers Receive Environmental Education Training

Conflicts and disagreements between park managers (UWA) and the neighboring communities have existed ever since the gazetting of Bwindi Impenetrable National park. This is partly attributed to the limited local awareness of the forest’s environmental and conservation value. Environmental education offers one solution.

The environment and how to protect it has to be a central part of education and school curricula. For this reason,  ITFC invited the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) who have a lot of experience with this in the region, to conduct environmental education training for primary school teachers near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  It was just last week that we finally hosted a four-day workshop at our Conservation Education Center. We had 28 local teachers participating.  The training was facilitated by three Canadian volunteers under the supervision of JGI’s Education Officer Aidan Asekenye.

Twenty Eight teachers from around Bwindi during the EE training

Twenty eight teachers came from around Bwindi to attend the EE training

The main aim of the workshop was to prepare the teachers to become champions for environmental conservation within their schools and wider communities. Teachers were also equipped with methods of infusing environmental education in the curricula of four primary school subjects (of Maths, English, Social studies and Science).

After taking a guided forest walk in Bwindi and later through the nearby community, teachers were asked to raise  the key environmental issues and also suggest solutions to these issues. Among the challenges identified were poor waste disposal, declining water quality, poor farming methods, and a high human population density as a threat to the conservation of Bwindi.

Through a series of interactive discussions, the teachers were helped to come up with practical solutions  not only to these issues but also to the other global environmental challenges like global warming, wildlife habitat loss,etc. Each teacher was given an opportunity to illustrate how best they could articulate these solutions into their daily lesson planning without necessarily teaching environmental education as an independent subject. After each presentation the audience were invited to suggest improvements to the proposed lesson plan, e.g. how could it be made more engaging and hands-on?

The workshop ended with each participant receiving a Teachers’ Guide Environmental Education information pack and a certificate of attendance.  They also received an evaluation questionnaire which they shall post back after six months to document what they believe they have accomplished as a result of the training.

A group photo of the participants and some of their facilitators

A group photo of the participants and some of their facilitators

If we can raise the funding, we hope we can extend these activities to more schools and communities. We hope that the communities and park authorities will work more closely because they agree that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and their mountain gorillas should have a long-term future.  That’s our vision.  That’s what we work for.


Who am I conserving for?

This is Emmanuel — I haven’t been able to do much blogging recently due to field work away from the station. But I wanted to share some thoughts and see what you think.

I have recently been watching some DVDs of a popular series called “Gossip Girl” (no obvious relation to Conservation … but I’ll get there). In this season I am watching one of the main characters, Serena a very attractive girl from a very wealthy family, refuses to join one of the best colleges in America because she’s taking time off to rediscover herself and clarify her purpose in life.

I have recently taken some time to think about my purpose as a conservationist something like Serena is aksing about her own career. This brings me to the thoughts I want to share with you in this blog. It’s a question I have been asking myself every time I meet with local people who live next to protected areas ( see blog: interview with Emmanuel Akampulira).

Like Serena I have taken some time to rediscover myself and my purpose (in my case this is about conservation). I am  asking myself the question “Who am I real conserving for?” Not long ago in school we generally answered this question, “for future generations”. This in its right is an accepted answer, backed up by the usual slogans of conservation and sustainable development. Alongside this answer there other answers we use to justify conservation. In a nutshell the de-facto reason is to protect the biodiversity that we humans depend on. Let’s take a hypothetical situation where man does not depend on nature for his survival. Would he have the same strong convictions for conservation? This is debatable!

To those of us who are literate (with western formal education), we are lucky enough to learn about the usefulness of nature from the western perspective. We could twist our answers to this question in all sorts of ways to justify and satisfy our conditional protection of nature. But will the common man who’s never been to school share my reasons for conservation. Well it’s been documented that yes he could.

Local people use their very fertile land next to protected areas to grow cash crops like tea at the cost of the much needed food crops for fear of crop raiding

Allow me to share with the concept called the “noble savage and conservation“.
(A Noble Savage is someone from a primitive culture who is supposedly uncorrupted by contact with society). This concept of the noble savage being a conservationist is considered a myth by some anthropologists and conservationists. Critics of this concept argue that native people only conserved because during that time population densities were low, technology used in extraction of resources was not advanced and market forces were not as aggressive as they are today. Let us look at the flip side of this, say the noble savage conserved unconsciously because of certain fears or restrictions associated with culture and religion. What would that make him? In my opinion any effort consciously or unconsciously made to preserve biodiversity or the sustainable use of natural resources should be considered as conservation. I could easily get absorbed and lost in the controversies of this concept but my point here is indigenous people have always been able to conserve. How and why is still debatable.

The cost of conservation (Children sit by their family gardens to guard them against baboons instead of being at school)

The billion dollar question here is. Can we trust the concept of noble savage and conservation? My answer would be yes we could have but aren’t we too late. Haven’t we already pushed the noble savage against the ropes? The biodiversity he once respected now battles with him for survival. He is thrown in jail and fined for crimes against nature. Nature gets more sympathy and care from authorities than he does. The reason given to him. To make his life better. Does he see his life getting better? No! He thinks it’s getting worse. There are more costs for him from conservation than benefits. If his life is getting worse instead of better like he was promised by me the “smart” conservationist. It seems our hunter is now the one being hunted. When the livelihoods of the poor man leaving next to protected areas is being threatened. That means his existence and the existence of his future generation is being threatened too by the very nature he is being asked to protect.

Practical interventions in Bwindi where local people are allowed to harvest resources from the park

So where do we go from here? Truthfully terrific and impressive ideas have been drafted on paper about how to conserve through reducing costs and increasing benefits to the locals. Uganda is a good example of this. To say that efforts have not been made to pursue this agenda would be somewhat of a lie. Never the less more has to been done in the way of policy changes, practical and realistic interventions and more importantly development of partnerships and collaboration among all stake holders concerned.

Community sensitization and education is key to collaboration with local people and soliciting support for conservation.

Alas it seems I may be the one to benefit from conservation after all if checks are not put in place. Back to my first question WHO AM I CONSERVING FOR?

Thanks to Gossip girl, I took some time to rediscover my purpose as conservationist and am still working on it. These are some of the thoughts I wanted to share with you as my internalization goes on.

Let me know what you think.


Xoxo ….Emmanuel

Humans or Elephants – Who is wrecking the Forest?

Open ground due to trampling by elephants

Although human activity is blamed for causing significant loss of forest cover, few studies have documented the role of wild animals in altering, or indeed trashing, their own habitats.  Should we be concerned when animals do this?

While ranging in their forest habitat, elephants leave extensive damage wherever they go. Whether they carelessly or intentionally do this, we all agree that elephants open vegetation, trample, and even sometimes uproot plants thereby causing enormous damage. Even from a distance, you hear them snapping tree branches as they feed or move through the forest.

A patch of the forest opened by the elephant

Most of us know elephants to range in open savannah and can hardly imagine elephants moving around in an ‘impenetrable’ forest. Yet there is an estimated 35-50 elephants ranging in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. While moving within the forest, you won’t need great skills to tell where elephants have been as there are usually broken tree branches everywhere along their paths.

Fredrick Ssali has recently completed a MSc research project on “the Impact Of Elephants On Trees In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”. Please see earlier blog introducing this study. His study has clarified this behaviour.

Fred’s study documented tree species, sizes and sites most affected by elephants in Bwindi. He recorded elephant impacts like bark stripping, tree toppling, breaking of branches and trampling over a series of 20 x 4m plots laid out along fresh elephant trails in four sites, varying in vegetation type. In each plot, all damaged and undamaged trees were identified, counted and their stem sizes measured. Of course this was done considering other environmental variables in the study area- the slope, aspect, altitude and tree cover.

ITFC staff assessing impact on trees broken by elephants

The study revealed that elephants are selective in how and where they feed; they target the large and usually less abundant trees for stripping off bark, and usually topple trees or break their branches, when small and abundant. Habitat change mediated by elephants may ead to increased habitat patchiness within the forest. The patches left behind by elephant destruction in Bwindi have usually not been regenerating to primary forest. Rather, frens and other quick growing plants tend to conquere and dominate the patches, thereby suppressing forest recovery. The consequences of this to the general ecology of the forest may be far-reaching but that may call for another study all together.

Some of the patches opened by elephants offer benefits. Other forest animals like the mountain gorillas prefer feeding from the herbaceous vegetation found in these more open areas.

It is a debate. If people were doing this we’d all agree they should be stopped. So, what about the elephants?  Are they wrecking the forest or contributing? As elephant numbers grow we may one day have to consider how many the forest can stand.

Ivan Wassaaka

(with input from Fred and Douglas)

Rare Shelley’s Crimsonwing was spotted in Ruhija!

Yes!!! for the first time in many years, the elusive Shelley’s Crimsonwing ( Cryospiza shelleyi ) has been spotted in Bwindi again. It happened in the morning of August 1st 2010, when Amos Monday Bunengo and Joni Kamugisha (of Avian Watch Uganda), both experienced Ugandan bird guides, were leading a group of 6 visitors into the (higher altitude) Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.


Amos Monday Bunengo, telling me about the sighting of the Shelley’s Crimsonwing

This is how Amos describes the experience: “Joni and I were guiding our visitors along the new Kajembejembe trail. It was about 10am in the morning and bright when I spotted a bird that came from above my head and descended about 7 meter in front of me. I knew immediately it was a Crimsonwing and it had a bright green colour on the belly, so I was sure this was the Shelley’s we had been trying to find for RFCG for so long. It was me who saw it first and then Joni as well. We saw it for about 5 minutes, feeding alongside the small stream along the trail. It was amazing!”

“No, we have no photographs, unfortunately. When something so special happens by chance, you are not ready for such a thing!”

The next day, another group of birders went along the same trail and was so lucky to see 4 Shelley’s! These were probably 2 pairs, as that is how they normally move around. This igroup was led by Mutebi, another experienced bird guide, from Access Uganda, whom we have not had a chance to contact yet. Again, no photos were taken according to Amos, so we have to show you once again the one photo in existence:

Shelley's crimsonwing2.jpg

The only photograph there is of a Shelley’s Crimsonwing, from Mgahinga NP. With thanks to the Gorilla Organisation!

Interestingly, Amos had come to report the event to ITFC, because he had seen the awareness raising posters in several places around the village, asking people who saw the Shelley’s to come and tell. Who had put up those posters and why?

The Rare Finch Conservation Group (RFCG) of South Africa has led a one year search for the Shelley’s (http://rarefinch.wordpress.com/find-shelley/) around Bwindi and Mgahinga from May 2009 . ITFC supported the field research and hosted Benson Bamutura, the project leader (link to website ITFC/RFCG). Unfortunately, his team never spotted one despite great efforts mist netting in early mornings and late afternoons in several places around the two parks.

I got in touch with Benson, after learning about the sighting and in my next blog will be the interview with him.

Check back in a few days!


Don’t miss the Mountain Gorillas on TV!

Dear regulars of the Bwindi blog,

just a quick note to make sure you are not missing the opportunity to see some moving images of Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi and the Virungas: on August 22nd, the BBC started airing the 3 part series on the gorillas that they came to  film last year; see Rosie’s blog.

The BBC's banner for the series

The BBC's banner for the series

The series shows on three consecutive Sunday evenings, at prime time 20.00 hr on BBC-Two. On Thursdays, at 23.00 hr a repeat is shown on BBC-HD.


Unfortunately, we cannot receive BBC-Two or HD in Uganda, but hope to see the recordings of friends in the near future! Hope you are able to receive those BBC channels where you are- we hear it is a very beautiful documentary, so do not miss it and let us know what you think!



Who pays the price?

On a recent trip I was forcefully reminded that some local people pay a much bigger price for conservation than most of us. Let me share an example that sticks in my mind.

We have just visited a number of Uganda’s protected areas. We (Emmanuel Akampulira and myself) were investigating how communities judge interventions aimed at reducing the damage to crops caused by animals from the parks. This, as I noted in a previous blog, is a major problem for many who live close to the protected areas and lack good opportunities to leave. The visit was part of a new WCS project we have joined, funded by USAID. We at ITFC are especially interested to identify success stories to see whether the key ingredients can be identified, and thus replicated, in Bwindi and elsewhere.

We visited farmers on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. There have been several initiatives, including impressive deep ditches and dense thorn hedges as barriers against crop raiding animals. While both have some merits (the first can be good against elephants and the second against baboons and other smaller animals), the local people are reluctant to maintain these measures even when they have been established. This attitude is not unusual. We want to know why.

A typical village on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. That’s our car.

What struck us is that farmers are often angry. They say they have already invested time and effort and do not see the benefits. They do not understand why they should not be compensated when they lose their crops to “the park’s” animals. Why should they now give their time and effort to fix a problem made by others they ask. (Under Uganda’s laws farmers who suffer crop losses due to animals are not compensated — largely because it would be impossible to manage such a scheme which would almost certainly be abused).

There is more than food at stake. In many cases children have to help their parents guard the crops day and night and are thus kept from school. And guarding is not without risks. One farmer who we interviewed insisted on showing the field where his crops had been near totally destroyed just a week earlier. ‘What will he eat now?’ he asked me. I took a picture of him with his hand full of elephant dung from his field that he shook as he spoke. He also wanted to show me a cheerful young boy with a scarred face. He carefully explained that this too was due to the park and its animals; while guarding the fields the boy had fallen asleep and been attacked by a hyena which had torn the flesh from the back of his head — though his life was saved by surgeons he had lost an eye.

Who should pay for the damage in his fields? Here is the fresh dung to show it was elephants.

Guarding the fields is frequently left to children. Some miss school, while others like this boy, risk serious injury by the animals (he lost his eye when he was attacked by a hyena after he had fallen asleep).

It is indeed a confronting experience but I am not sharing this story simply to shock. This is about achieving long-term conservation. This farmer felt that people cared about the animals but not about him or this boy. They are poor but they pay more for Uganda’s conservation than any of us. We asked what solution he favoured: he wanted the animals shot.

Such challenges are not easily fixed. But they cannot be ignored.As long as local people are alienated, effective conservation will be hard to sustain. In any democracy people need to support their government’s actions: including conservation.

We need effective measures to help local communities live next to animals. I am hoping that our research will be a significant contribution.

Village children. What can we do to reduce the chance they will grow up as enemies of conservation and the nearby national park?

Please let me know what you think!

Best wishes



This study is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Wildlife Conservation Society. The contents are the responsibility of the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government or the Wildlife Conservation Society.