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I’m back in Florida for 3 weeks, preparing to return to Africa for the next 6 months. Lots of exciting plans are on the horizon:

– On September 29 I’ll fly to Lome, Togo to participate in the United Nations Environmental Programme / Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) meetings. This is the same conference that was in the Canary Islands last year and representatives from 21 African countries will be present. We’re in the process of finishing an Action Plan for West African manatees across the range of the species. Hopefully the signing of this document at the upcoming meeting will lead to more research and funding across Africa.

– After Togo, I’ll travel next door to Ghana to help teach an Earthwatch Capacity Building Workshop & Expedition for West African Manatee Conservation. Eight scientists from across Africa will be selected to participate in the 13 day training. My colleague Patrick Ofori-Dansen’s research in Ghana is one of the longest running manatees research programs in Africa, particularly focused in the Lake Volta region (the Volta River was dammed in the 1960’s trapping manatees in the large lake above the dam) so it will be great to see his research and study area firsthand.
– Then in mid-October I’ll return to Gabon to continue fieldwork there. I plan to survey the one last lagoon system I haven’t been to yet (Fernan Vaz) and hopefully spend more time at the enormous N’dogo Lagoon, my first choice site for future manatee tagging and tracking. This year I will also focus more on training and public outreach in several parts of the country.
– At some point in the next 6 months I will also return to Soyo, Angola to continue that work as well. So it will be a busy end of the year for me and I’ll try to fill the blog with lots of good stories and photos along the way.
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