Posted: December 8, 2011

Name: Connor White
School: Unity College
Major: Biological Sciences
Program: Wildlife Management Studies, Tanzania

Directed Research (DR) has begun, and I must admit this is the most fun I have ever had doing schoolwork. For my DR, I am studying the effects of the bushmeat trade on wildlife in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem (TME). The last nine days have consisted of going to the Manyara Ranch, Communal areas, and Lake Manyara National Park. During our safaris to the three areas, we have been observing wildlife and looking for signs of wildlife. While in Lake Manyara, I saw two lionesses climbing up trees to find some shade to rest under. Did you know, Lake Manyara is one of the two places in the world where lions climb trees?! We also have been going to local communities to interview the residents about their perspective on bushmeat and poaching. In fact, yesterday we interviewed thirteen men that poach as a profession. During my interviews in the Maasai land, I was welcomed by a family offering me chai tea and fresh goat meat to eat. The chief of the village even offered me one of his goats as a gift. I couldn’t accept the gift for free so I offered him some money. Now thanks to my recent purchase, we have a pet goat on campus. We named her Umbwa, which in English means “dog.”