Thin Red Line
Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 1:32AM
[chuck] in Ban Sopbhouan, Rattan, Science, forest inventory

The first thing you need to do if you want to manage a wild population of rattan plants is to quantify the number and size of individuals in the population. This is accomplished by conducting a forest inventory. I spent the last two days in the village of Sobphouan in Bolikhamsai Province, Laos training WWF project staff (see Management Planning) how to do this. As is shown above, the first step in the inventory is to lay out out a 20 m line along a designated bearing in the forest. We used a bearing of 270º and a line of bright red nylon.

The next step is to carefully look within a 5 m strip on either side of the red line for rattan plants. Operational word here is "carefully". This step can be tedious, but it is important to go slow and not miss any plants.

The final step is to record the species and size of each rattan encountered in a fieldbook. Three simple steps that can ultimately make the difference between sustainable management and resource depletion. [NOTE: That's Bansa Thammavong (WWF Laos) and Le Viet Tam (WWF Vietnam) laying out the line; Ou Ratanak's (WWF Cambodia) hand is holding the fieldbook (thx, guys)].

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