Using poetry Caz, from our primate behaviour team, talks about a recent training day and what our team got up to!
Since OuTrop’s Orangutan Project started 12 years ago, frequent training days have been imperative to ensure that data collection standards are high amongst all members of the behaviour team. As well as collecting long-term behavioural data, OuTrop scientists are forever thinking of exciting, new project directions and research questions. We recently decided to focus our attention on mother-infant pairs, looking specifically at infant development through to adolescent dispersal.
|The behaviour team discussing how to identify individual orangutans|
Training days provide a great opportunity for the local and international staff to work closely together, providing a platform for the team to ask questions about the research, give their input and to learn new, or hone in on, existing skills. We held two intense days of Orangutan Project training for the behavioural team at the end of last year. Working within the OuTrop team is always diverse, fun and exciting.
Here is my short poetic summary of the training days.
The training was meant to get started at eight,
And by a miracle none of the staff were late!
The Primate Scientist gave an orangutan overview,
Re-capping on topics that they already knew.
They spoke about orangutan biology and behaviour,
The project’s aims and the research’s nature.
The staff asked questions about the publications,
After which they moved onto orangutan vocalisations.
Grumbles, grumphs, gorkrums and grunts,
Long calls, kiss-squeaks, nest smacks and hoot fronts.
Tricky tricky, most of the staff got them wrong,
But they were all learning as they went along.
Next were the new datasheets and acting out the behaviours,
A little break in the middle – tea is a saviour!
The staff giggled whilst performing “make bridge” and “food share”,
Before they moved onto individual identifications in a pair.
Indy, Ikarus, Trevor, Fio, Henry and Teresia,
Isabella, Feb, Vulkan, Timi, Cleo and Gracia.
Naming just some of the 60 orangutans we have followed since 2003,
We quickly moved on to sample collection: orangutan wee.
Sample collection is important to analyse orangutan health,
And a skill the staff need to master under their belt.
Finally, back into the forest to try the training in the field,
And hopefully to see all the staff’s great skills revealed!
Thank you to the amazing staff for their attention and hard work over the two days.
|Azis and Uji from the primate behaviour team. Both are ‘mantap’ (Indonesian for ‘amazing’!)|