I’ve now been in Senegal for 10 days, and tomorrow I continue south to Guinea-Bissau. While here in Dakar I had a productive meeting with Captain Abba Sonko at the Water and Forestry to discuss future plans. Captain Sonko was the person who submitted the proposal to CITES to up-list the African manatee to Appendix I, so he’s very proud that it succeeded, and we’re now both working with the Species Survival Network to implement activities to try to increase protection for manatees. In addition I showed him some of my preliminary genetics and age determination results for Senegal. I’m sure he’s going to be a great partner for my long-term work here.
Tomas and I also went south to Saly for a couple days to check on the progress of our future base there, and I met some very enthusiastic people who are interested for me to do manatee outreach programs with school children there, so I look forward to starting that when I come back next year. Now I’m just packing up the crazy amount of equipment I need to bring to Guinea-Bissau for captures. Hopefully I’ll have internet for at least the first few days so I can post more before we take off to the remote Bijagos.