Editorial – Field ecological studies in Africa

Who has been to Africa for field ecological studies only to realize it takes more than good science to get it done? Bush craft can’t be taught just as earning the rapport and respect of the local communities is acquired. We wanted to hear from people who had been there and done that.  Dr. Alan Kemp is our conservationist of the month and role model ornithologist with impeccable credentials in research on ground hornbills and writing popular books. Lucy Kemp has written an absorbing piece on her work at the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project. This is the first father-daughter duo to be published in a single issue of the ACT.

Evan Buechley writes about the ecological benefits of shade-grown coffee in Ethiopia. Tamara Oliveira contributes on community-based chimpanzee conservation in Guinea Bissau.  Alain Senghor K. Ngute and Mark Hulme essay their partnership in the mentor-mentee program of SCB Africa leading to avian conservation studies in Cameroon. Jason Turner outlines work in progress in conserving an iconic species in South Africa. Susan Canney et al. write about protecting the desert elephants of Mali during war and peace. Denise M Magera et al. give an account of their project on long-term monitoring of small-scale fisheries along the South African coastline.

This issue marks the first anniversary of the refurbished ACT. The ACT thanks all contributors and well-wishers following us on Facebook and Twitter.  We wish you a Merry X’mas and Happy New Year 2016. The next issue is due March 2016 and is planned as a special issue on One-Health in Africa. Your contributions are most welcome.

Finally, the Amphibian Ecology and Conservation in Tanzania and Restoring Africa’s Thunderbird – The Ground Hornbill, both ecological projects in Africa, are seeking funding! All contributions are welcome!


Murali Pai                                                                                                                                                                
Editor, ACT

Murali Pai is a faculty member at the School for Field Studies (SFS), Beverly, Massachusetts.