Strengthening Capacity for Xesap NPA staff



Posted on 15 September 2012  | 
Vientiane 14 September: WWF-Laos held a training for staff of Xesap National Protected Area (Xe Sap NPA) on Global Positioning System (GPS) and camera trap skills. The training aims to strengthen the staff’s capacity to use the devices to monitor wildlife and human practices in Xesap NPA focal areas.

WWF-Laos provided 17 GPS devices and 29 camera traps to Xesap NPA for CarBi Project implementation over the last few months with the purpose of monitoring the practices in the focal area and collecting GPS data in the park. CarBi Project is funded by KfW.

“Important data regarding human activities, forest cover, and NPA and village boundaries in and around the NPA is not yet consistently documented”, said Dr Khammone Luangsakda, CarBi Project Manager, WWF-Laos. “We have ready-to-use devices, and we have to properly train staff about how to use these devices so that we can get the most accurate information from the field. This will lead to appropriate management solutions for Xesap NPA”, added Dr Luangsakda.

The training course was held in Ta-ouy District, Salavan Province, from the 4-13 of September. The course consisted of two parts - in-class training and in-the-field practice. The trainer taught 13 trainees, from Ta-ouy, Samouy, and Kalum Districts along with Salavan and Sekong provincial staff, how to use and record the data on the GPS devices. Trainees were also exposed to the appropriate techniques for setting up camera traps in order to get the best visual footage of the existing wildlife.

“Previous biodiversity surveys in Xesap NPA indicate globally significant populations of Chestnut-eared Laughing thrush (Garrulax konkakinhensis) and Black-crowned Barwing (Actinodura sodangorum), two globally threatened endemic birds previously believed to be restricted to central Vietnam. The team will apply these newly acquired techniques when conducting camera trapping in October this year in Ta-ouy District, hopefully identifying more endemic species.” Dr Luangsakda further explained.

“This training provides us interesting and useful techniques that we can apply to the project activities. Camera trapping can particularly help to visualize the wildlife activities in the Xesap NPA”, said Mr. Phetlaty Keodethvongsak, Ta-ouy District Agriculture and Forestry Officer, Xesap NPA.

“It is very difficult to access many parts of the remote Xesap NPA, especially in Kalum District, where we can only access the NPA through the Vietnam border. By using this new camera trapping technology, we can consistently collect data while keeping an eye on the wildlife and human activities inside the NPA in order to help conserve biodiversity”, expressed Mr. Sengphachan Sanasomeboun, Xesap NPA unit assistant, Sekong Province.

 
A camera trap set for capturing wildlife activities during on-field-training course. This is a part of the camera trap training in Ta-ouy District, Salavan Province, Laos
© Noy Promsouvanh Enlarge
The trainer demonstrates trainees technique to collect the camera trap after leaving it set in the forest for days.
© Noy Promsouvanh Enlarge

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