Ranomafana (10.01.2014 to 12.31.2014)

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Year: 
2014
Quarter: 
October - December
Communications activities: 

Several educational and training activities were held by the TEAM members during this quarter. 

  • Meeting and presentation of the TEAM field activities to the Mangevo and to the Andemaka and Bevoahazo local villagers: updates about TEAM and Ranomafana biodiversity
  • With the Program “Study Abroad” at Centre ValBio (“Stony Brook, Finland and Madagascar Universities”), visitors, and tourists, presentation on TEAM and its activities.  
  • During the celebration of the “day of lemur” (25 - 31 October 2014), the participation in the local event: awareness education, film screening, and conference debate. 
  • Student advising, with University of Fianarantsoa and Antananarivo: in research projects on Pandanus and on invasive plant species Psidium cattleianum.  Additional projects have also been started on bamboo and birds.
Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

none

New Species: 

none

Protocol Activities: 

Vegetation

Formation of the field crew

During this quarter, field expedition planning began with corresponding to the grant renewal term.  Prior to the field monitoring, field crews were gathered, training reinforced and previous technical difficulties and needed supplies discussed.  Responsibilities, as data measurer/recorder, and collectors were assigned.  Reviews of the vegetation protocol had to be made, especially since there were issues in previous years with keeping any changes updated in the field forms.  Due to the late start of the expedition, two field crews had to be established.  Each has two local guides, one cook with one assistant; and one agent from the Madagascar National Parks (MNP).

Equipment preparation

Prior to each field expedition, all equipments had to be tested and calibrated.  DBH meters needed to be checked and replaced if any metric marking not adjusted.  Field planning had also been discussed for the six vegetation plots (Array 1 ((Plot 3) Andranofady & (Plot 4) Ranomena)) ; Array 2 ((Plot 5) Maharira & (Plot 6) Mangevo)) ; and Array 3 ((Plot 1) Andemaka & (Plot 6) Bevoahazo-Sakaroa))

The following table (Table 1) shows the chronology of field expedition for the protocol “vegetation”.

 

Table 1. Chronology of 2014-2015 field vegetation monitoring expedition within Ranomafana TEAM site

 

VEGETATION MONITORING

PERIOD

ARRAY

PLOT

SITE

Nb days

Team #

DEC 23 - JAN  07

2

6

MANGEVO

16

1&2

JAN 10 - 23

5

MAHARIRA

14

JAN 27 - FEB 13

3

2

BEVOAHAZO

18

1

JAN 27 - FEB 13

1

ANDEMAKA

18

2

FEB 17 – MARS 04

1

5

ANDRANOFADY

16

FEB 17 – MARS 04

6

RANOMENA

16

1               

Data recorded from the previous field monitoring demonstrated that in Plot 6 (Mangevo) showed the least anthropogenic pressure among the six Ranomafana TEAM sites. There was no sign of human induced pressure within the 1 hectare plot. Looking at the variation in stem diameter, about 63.93% of all stems in Mangevo increased in DBH and 28.03% did not show any variation. However, preliminary analysis showed that 9.04% fo the stems within Plot 6 had died. This might have been caused by natural processes. Table 2 summarizes the changes in tree DBH during from data analysis during the previous monitoring period in Mangevo. 

 

Table 2: Variation of DBH at Plot 06 Mangevo during 2014-2015 monitoring

Variation of DBH

Number of Individual

Percentage

DBH>0

689

62.93

DBH<0

99

9.04

DBH=0

307

28.03

Total of stem measured

1095

 

Of the 44 known families in Plot 6 (Mangevo), 16 families included individuals that died between the previous 2 monitoring seasons. The number of dead invidicuals in each family varies from 1 to 8 (Figure 1). Most of the representatives of dead trees below to the trees with smaller stem diameteres (Figure 2). 

Figure 1. Abundance of individual trees that died per family in Plot 6 (Mangevo)

Figure 2. Percentage of dead individual trees according to their variation of DBH

 

 

Terrestrial Vertebrates

Formation of the field crew

The camera trap field teams were confimed and composed of an expert technician and a trainee to expedite the deployment process due to the late start. Each of the 2 teams also consisted of two local guides, a cook and a local assistant; and one representative from MNP as required by the ministry for conducting research in the protected area.

Equipment preparation

Prior to the field expedition, purchase of some field needed supplies was made.  All equipment needed also to be tested for its accuracy and functioning; and calibrated.

Field Planning

Field camera trap monitoring expeditions were planned and started within the northern parts (Andemaka & Bevoahazo) during this quarter (Table 3).

 

Table 3. Chronology of 2014-2015 field “terrestrial vertebrates” monitoring expedition within Ranomafana TEAM site

 

TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATES MONITORING

PERIOD

ARRAY

SITE

PHASE

Nb. days

Team #

DEC 23 - JAN  02

3

ADEMAKA

SET UP

11

2

BEVOAHAZO

1

JAN 05 - 13

1

ANDRANOFADY

9

1&2

JAN 23 – FEB 02

3

ADEMAKA

PICK UP

11

1

BEVOAHAZO

2

FEB 05 - 13

1

ANDRANOFADY

9

1&2

FEB 15 - 23

1

RANOMENA

SET UP

9

1&2

FEB 26 – MARS 09

2

MANGEVO

SET UP

12

1

FEB 26 – MARS 05

MAHARIRA

8

2

MARCH 17 – 25

1

RANOMENA

PICK UP

9

1&2

MARCH26 – APRIL 07

 

MANGEVO

12

2

MARCH 26 – APRIL 03

 

MAHARIRA

8

1

 

Prior to field expeditions, all camera traps were verified/tested and calibrated.  Between monitoring periods, several trees are usually found fallen down between the junction-area of two camera traps points.  Characteristics of the habitat around the camera trap points, however, showed dense vegetation cover, which varied from 30 to 90 percent.  Monitoring of the other camera trap points will follow the field chronology described above.  One of the reasons for transitioning in a new Site Manager is to ensure that field teams are visited more frequently to assit in trouble shooting dircectly in the field. Thus, this period marked the transfer or responsibilites and management to the new RNF TEAM Site Manager, who had been working for several years with the project as a student assistant. Thus, we were able to ensure a schedule for the Site manager’s field expedition visits were scheduled corresponding to the 2014-2015 vegetation and terrestrial vertebrate monitoring team expeditions (Table 4).

Table 4. Field Chronology for new TEAM site manager visits during 2014-2015 monitoring

Site Manager movement with the field teams VG & TV

PERIOD

ARRAY

SITE

PHASE

Nb. days

Team #

DEC 23- JAN 07

2

MANGEVO

 CENSUS

16

VG

JAN-09-11

1

ANDRANOFADY

SET UP

3

TV

JAN 14-20

2

MAHARIRA

 CENSUS

7

VG

JAN-23-FEB 01

3

ANDEMAKA

PICK UP

10

TV&VG

FEB-02-07

BEVOAHAZO

 CENSUS

6

VG

FEB 17-23

1

RANOMENA

PICK UP

7

TV & VG

FEB 26 -MARCH 04

ANDRANOFADY

CENSUS

7

VG

MARCH 26- 30

2

MAHARIRA

PICK UP

5

TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate

During this quarter (October – December 2014), climate data collection was conducted once a month and climate station maintenance every other week.  All the climate equipment were checked regularly and the station has been kept in good condition.  Data collected were uploaded regularly to the TEAM portal the 15th of every month. 

Analysis of the data demonstrated that an increase of 2°C in temperature, 2.11% relative humidity, and a total of 286.256 mm rainfall was observed from October to December 2014 (Table 6; Figure 3, 4, 5).

 

Table 6.  Variation in Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Rain Fall (with their minimum and maximum) from October 2014 to December 2014 from Ranomafana TEAM Climate station

 

 Temperature

(°C)

 Relative

Humidity (%)

 

RainFall

 (mm)

2014

Avg

Max

Min

Avg

Max

Min

Avg

Max

Min

Total Rain

October

19,1

31,35

11,68

85,5

99,87

28,25

0,014

4,57

0

126,492

November

19,88

31,21

13,20

87,17

99,73

31,68

0,02

4,32

0

168,148

December

21,1

29,61

13,21

87,61

99,67

43,56

0,05

10,92

0

412,748

 

Figure 3: Variation in average temperature within Ranomafana National Park from October to December 2014

Maximum

31,35

31,21

29,61

Minimum

11,68

13,2

13,21

 

Figure 4 : Variation in average relative humidity within Ranomafana National Park from October to December 2014

 


Figure 5: Average rainfall (per 5 minute sampling interval) within Ranomafana National Park from October to December 2014

Total Rain

126,492

168,148

412,748

 

 

Protocol Problems: 

none

Schedule Problems: 

The start of the field expedition monitoring was delayed due to the delay in the acquisition of the research permit to the national park of Ranomafana. Field delays were being communicated with the National Technical Director to assist in expediting the process to push the permit forward.

Logistical Problems: 

None.

Suggestions: 

None.