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5096291 No.2991  

The time has come! Getting ready to get on the plane to Nice, I'll hopefully be there in about two hours. The weather's been a little rough today so we'll see how it goes.

>> No.2993  

God has granted us a safe arrival and after meeting up with some fellow Otter people at the airport we're now on the way to Sospel.

>> No.2994  

Arrived at the camp site after everyone went to sleep, but they still had some leftover cold pizza for us. No complaints.

>> No.2996  

Good night! Tomorrow is the first official day, so things are really gonna get started.

>> No.2997  

Wow, what's it like being around an international group of otterlovers?

>> No.2998  

So far it's been lovely getting to know fellow otter lovers and talking about otters.
Breakfast has been had now and the conference is about to start in a few minutes

>> No.2999  

Lunch time. Heard some interesting presentations about different otter conservation projects around the world, lots of information.

>> No.3000  

As a remote attendee, there have been a few tech issues but overall everything is going smoothly and the talks are interesting. I like their angle of approaching conservation from a grassroots perspective and working with communities, it seems like it would help avoid situations like the one we watched in Ottercine a few months back, where local First Peoples' communities on the Canadian West coast were being negatively impacted. I'm glad that I get to attend!

>> No.3001  

The wifi here is quite bad, which is why I'm having trouble uploading any pics to go along with this ... Hopefully some of the technical issues will be sorted, they're trying their best. And all the presentations will be uploaded regardless.

>> No.3003  

That concludes the first day! Very interesting projects happening for otter conservation all around the world, and this congress is really staying true to its theme because it's all about getting local communities to buy into conservation and to resolve human wildlife conflicts.
Also, the landscape is beautiful but we are all being eaten by mosquitoes here. Surprising how there are so many.

>> No.3004  

How are things going for you guys timezone wise? I hope nobody's having to pull a week's worth of all nighters to hear all the talks

>> No.3005  

Day 2. Good morning.

>> No.3006  

I've tried sleeping after the presentations are over and that worked pretty well for me, but it starts at 3 am for me so it isn't too awkward of a time.

>> No.3009  

We had a fascinating story about giant otter reintroduction in Argentina and a bit of discussion about CITES and the illegal wildlife trade today, it was good to hear about some of the efforts being undertaken in Japan.

How did you like today's presentations? Did things improve a little on the technical side?

>> No.3010  

Illegal wildlife trade always makes me kindof sad so that's a bummer, especially when we know where exports are coming from but don't really know why, but that fact that people are taking action and spreading awareness is heartening. There's always more work to be done, but pet trade feels like a more easily tackled issue than, say, habitat destruction. Yumi's presentation on otter cafes was probably my favorite, but the LUTRALPS one gets an honorable mention because the name is just fantastic.

The tech side did improve, most of the presenters were easy to hear and they didn't cut out or anything. There were still some that were hard to hear, but that's to be expected and it wasn't difficult to follow along with their slides. I signed up knowing there were going to be some issues, and the recordings have been great so far so no issues there.

>> No.3013  

Good morning
Day 3 has begun and the coffee machine is broken

>> No.3014  

I liked Yumi's and Caterina's presentations too. OtterEd is neat, that's something we might be able to contribute to. Let's see what today brings, I hear they're planning a big excursion this afternoon.

>> No.3016  

We're back from the hike, the French Alps are just beautiful. I've never been in mountains like this. Remind me to share some photos when I get back home.

>> No.3017  

>>3016 We also had some productive discussions today about OSG's plans and priorities going forward, getting some more members in is definitely one of the things we want to do so do apply if you'd like to be in an amazing group of otter people

>> No.3018  

I believe it, did some people go over to the Italian side too? Do you know if it was any different over there, or did they just split the group because there were too many to all go to one location?

Also, do you know what time the movie is supposed to be or how remote people are supposed to watch it? I didn't see anything on Whova, but maybe I'm just blind.

I like hearing action plans, it's cool! It's neat to hear about how how people plan to go about enacting change for the better, it seems like a very well thought out action plan too. I want to look into my local area to see if I can find any action plans I can relay, here's hoping I can find something.

>> No.3019  

We didn't actually go to Italy, but we were very close to the border. The group arrangement was quite confusing... they had to split us up into two groups because of the cars/parking space situations, then one group went one way on the trail and the other group went the other way, except for the drivers who went back at the halfway point.

The movie night is supposed to be at 9pm CEST, I suppose they'll announce how it's going to work before it starts

>> No.3021  

Looks like they're streaming the movies through zoom just like the presentations

>> No.3022  
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Ahh, parking. There's part of me that finds it amusing that parking isn't just an urban issue. Who would think that, with all that space, you wouldn't have anywhere to park? Once you think about it it makes sense, but it is a little funny at first blush.

Huh, it doesn't seem to be in any of the sessions and while I got an announcement about them I didn't get a zoom link. Some others seemed confused, but that was a while ago. Maybe I'm just dumb and that's why I cant find it. Oh well.

>> No.3023  

>>3022 They have a zoom session open but there's only like 5 people in it, so you're not the only one.
Oh well, hopefully these films will be available so we can just watch them on Ottercine later.

>> No.3024  

We're watching the Singapore documentary that we watched before

>> No.3026  

It was another good day today, I like learning all these things about otter conservation.

>> No.3027  

I've gotta say, it sounds like a really great time to be surrounded by other otter enthusiasts, learning about what you can do and what others are doing to help them out. I wish I could've made it, seems like a special experience

>> No.3028  

Good morning! It's the dawn of the final day. Bags are packed and I'll be leaving some time within the next hour. Saying goodbyes.
It was a wonderful time and a great experience indeed, otter people are such nice and pleasant people. Like you guys.
I'm already looking forward to the next one, and I hope you'll be able to come in person because online just doesn't come close to it. They're planning to host it in Argentina, so I heard, maybe that's closer for some of you guys?

>> No.3029  

In person does seem like it would be more fun, but it was still really great remote! I didn't even realize it was already Friday until I got up this morning and checked the agenda, the week really flew by. I love learning things, I love otters, I love nature, It's been a great week of learning and also may open the door for me to get more involved in otter conservation in my region. I never thought that would happen, since the rivers here aren't in great shape, but one of the presentations was about an area near me and I was very pleasantly surprised. Getting a whole week of time off is hard to come by so I'm unsure if I can swing in person in the future, but it'll be a while before the next one so who knows?

>> No.3030  

That would be awesome! And now you know who to get in touch with about that. The week did go by very fast, it was a lot of fun and very informative! The fact that people from all over the world get together to talk about otters is amazing and so heartening.
It'll be a little harder for me to come in person next time because it's much further away but I still hope I get the chance to be there.

>> No.3031  

I think the hope was one of my favorite parts of the conference. It can be easy to get caught up in the doom of habitat destruction, conservation feels like its too big, how can I, little old me, help otters?
But here, everyone is sharing how they have helped, how they plan to help in the future, how new people can learn to help themselves. Seeing action plans and targets and passion for saving species, it's uplifting. It makes the challenges faced feel more surmountable, it feels like there is hope. And I love that.

>> No.3032  
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I'm back home
Gonna upload a few pictures, starting with the big one

>> No.3033  
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>> No.3034  
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The hike

>> No.3035  
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>> No.3036  
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A bat lives in this house

>> No.3037  

I couldn't agree more. You come with a frown and leave with a smile. It feels like together we can actually get something done for otters.