We often report on exciting and successful wildlife stories from afar, and this is certainly fun. However, in reality, much of our work is not in the least bit glamorous and fun. More often than not we are gathering information from behind our desks, endlessly staring at computer screens, and trying to connect with potential donors. Subsequently we travel through a multitude of airports with their endless security and immigration checks and on airplanes whose reliability decreases logarithmically with the distance from the starting point. Once on site, it is surprising how many conditions must necessarily align for us to actually get the work done. Many aspects are beyond our control, weather and the behaviour of the wildlife for one, but others like the relationships with administrations and project partners initially appear sound and solid but then spiral out of control. When things just do not want to align, you first and foremost want to have a great team with you at the field site. Good humour, coffee with fatty and sugary foods and the odd stiff drink during cold dark nights go a long way. Here a rare story on a failure in Kazakhstan earlier this year from the BBC: read more
Team waiting for days in a ranger station for kulan to be successfully captured - good food and and general good cheer go a long way in situations like this.