Maureen and I made it to Borneo and have had a great first day at the Symposium. Last night was the icebreaker and it was fun to start getting reacquainted with some of the folks we've met and have been working with over the last few years. With such a far-flung cat conservation network, it's wonderful to have an opportunity to come together every once in a while like this. There are nearly 200 people from 15 countries attending the meeting which is supported by both the CLP and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The meeting is focused on the 24 species of carnivores inhabiting the island of Borneo, including the five cat species (Sunda clouded leopard, flat-headed cat, bay cat, marbled cat, and leopard cat), civets, mongoose, and otters.
Today was a very full day of interesting introductory papers. We began with a comprehensive overview of the Asian wildlife trade which I will detail in more depth next. Then the rest of the day was devoted to a review of carnivore research methodology. The methods discussed were: community surveys, transects, conservation genetics, live trapping, telemetry, camera trapping, and landscape modeling. Each discussion focused on determining the best methodology for answering a particular study question, the pros and cons of each method, planning for implementation, and ways to maximize the efficacy of each technique. Much current information was presented and I look forward to updating our website to reflect the status of each of these methods.
I look forward to tomorrow's program of species-specific reports. Stay tuned!