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Entries in Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (10)


Myitkyina 2005

Packing up our stuff in front of the Aye Chan Tha Inn in Myitkyina after six weeks of collecting and counting rattans along the Ledo Road in northern Myanmar (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey and Mandalay Express). The plant presses are in the rice sacks, the plant specimens are in the cardboard boxes, that's my large, extremely dirty Eagle Creek duffel bag; Andrew Henderson, U Kyaw Lwin, and I stand back and observe the proceedings. [NOTE: Photo by Tun Shuang (thx)].


Running Compass

A key feature of good inventory transects is that they follow a straight line. Wonderful things happen when you walk a straight line through the forest. Keeping the transect on the right bearing is accomplished through the judicious use of a compass, in this case, a Silva Ranger compass.

Once you get the first two or three transect stakes in position, you can put the compass away and just use back sights to keep the stakes lined up. Continual use of the compass (or GPS) will cause the line to zig-zag (see Believe Your Eyes).

Image above shows U Myint Maung, Warden of the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, keeping our rattan transect on course (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey)


Packing Up

Love the elephant shots. If I remember correctly, this is from Mile 7 basecamp (see Mile 7 Camp), and the mahouts are packing up our stuff so that we can start the 7 mile hike back to Shimbweyeng (see Tea Break). [NOTE: No one was really ready to start walking out of this beautiful, rattan-filled place]. 


Out To Dry

Bundles of palm specimens drying in the sun behind the Huaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary headquarters in Tanai (see Tanai and Tolagyi Tour of Tanai). Together with some wet laundry from the field crew. Usually foggy in the morning, but the afternoon sky in Tanai is spectacular. 


Checking The Bridge

Drivers checking the bridge at Mile 15 on the Ledo Road in the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. They straightened some boards, added a few more, pounded in some nails, and then drove their rattan trucks over it on the way Myitkyina. [NOTE: I just found a treasure trove of images from the 2005 Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey and Tea Break) on a CD in one of my filing cabinets. Stay tuned].


Elephant on the Road 

Really hope they get everything straightened out in Kachin State (see Happenings in Kachin). There's nothing quite like finishing up an inventory transect, walking out on the road, and seeing an elephant come lumbering toward you. I miss Myanmar. 


The Guys

Field crew from the 2009 work in Kachin State, Myanmar (see Shinlonga and Crossing the Taron). Diverse mix of wonderful people.  That's U Saw Htun, WCS coordinator of the Northern Forest Complex, on the far left in the back, and Rob Tizard, wildlife biologist, community development worker, accomplished photographer and amazing ornithologist, standing on the far right (with the leech socks and binoculars). In between, there's U Sein Aung Mein, my liason/counterpart from the Myanmar Forest Department, our two Kachin assistants, NawAung and Naw Sein (see Kachin Guides), the local police and army escorts, and the fantastic WCS Hukaung Wildlife Sanctuary folks. [NOTE: Can't believe I never posted this photo. What a great bunch of people.]


The Back Row

A few women from the Kachin village of Shinlonga (see Shinlonga and Stick and Wheel) would always attend the community meetings where we explained what we were doing (see The Last Stake and Naw Aung and His Sagawa). And they always sat together in the back row. And never said anything. But were extremely photogenic. [NOTE: Image from the December 2009 trip to the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary].  


Driving to Takhet

Getting to the Kachin village of Takhet in the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Preserve (see Hukaung Logs and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) involves crossing several rivers. During the dry season, you can drive across these. [NOTE: Music by El Ten Eleven].


Worth A Thousand Words

Lunar-like landscape surrounding main gold mine (see Hukaung Gold Mines) at Shimbweyeng inside (italics mine) the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Kachin State, Myanmar. My current work in the Hukaung Valley (see Shinlonga) doesn't extend as far north as Shimbweyeng, so I have no idea about the current status of this mine - or the nature of any vegetation that may have grown back on the site. [NOTE: Image was taken in 2005].