Anita Bousa has already broken new ground by being one of the few women in Laos to work in the wildlife conservation field. Her passion was sparked while working on her undergraduate biology degree at the National University of Laos. There, she undertook a student research project in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Society and had the opportunity to observe wildlife in its native habitat. Through WCS, she discovered the mysterious and endangered saola antelope.
The Saola Working Group appointed Anita as the first ever Lao National Saola Projects Manager, where her intelligence and positive attitude has already had an impact. She was able to broker a meeting between SWG, WCS, and local Lao government officials to help in creating a saola conservation area in a piece of land marked for national defense—the first ever international project allowed. Through a Masters at James Cook University in Australia, Anita will study tropical wildlife ecology and conservation, emphasizing her research on designing and implementing data analysis methods in the field to better adapt conservation programs.
She will bring these new techniques back to Laos to help save the saola, shedding light on a species little seen. With her can-do attitude, it is clear that Anita is the future of saving this rare ungulate.
-Text by Elizabeth Rogers