Golden beavers

Posted October 23, 2014 by vdinets
Categories: Uncategorized

If you’d like to see the golden subspecies of American beaver (Castor canadensis subauratus), there is an amazingly tame population in downtown Martinez, California. Just park at night at the Amtrak station, and walk across the parking lot to the footbridge over a small creek. They can be observed and photographed from ten feet away, and don’t mind flashlights at all.


THANK YOU JON (And Some Indian Mammals)

Posted October 21, 2014 by tomeslice
Categories: Uncategorized

First of all, I can’t express my gratitude enough to Jon for putting together the amazing adventure, with a unique and diverse group of people, all of whom it was an absolute pleasure to meet and hang out with in Leh and Hemis.
So thanks everyone for a great time, and an awesome adventure!! (And special thanks to Joey the Stone Marten)

Jon will put together our trip report, so I won’t elaborate, but I want to add, on top of the mammals in our Ladakh trip, Rhesus Macaques ALL OVER Agra, 5-striped squirrels at the Taj Mahal, another unidentified squirrel at the Taj Mahal (see picture attached), which I actually think is most likely an immature or mis-colored 5-stripe
Unidentified Squirrel



Also, during my last day in Delhi, the very nice people in the Dutch/Belgian group who were with us in the camp invited me to go with them to Sultanpur National Park where we saw a lot of Nilgai and 5-striped squirrel. Also we saw some GREAT birds including spotted owlets, Indian Grey Hornbills, Sarus Cranes, White-throated, common and stork-billed kingfishers, brown-headed barbets (I actually missed those), wild Indian Peafowl, Great Coucal, 2-3 species of Eagles and lots of shorebirds and other interesting species :-) SO thanks again for letting me come with you guys!

I’m looking forward to hearing what the rest of our group saw on our extension!

New Trip Reports: Rwanda, Italy and Finland

Posted October 20, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Africa, Europe and the Palearctic

Three new reports on

Rwanda, 2014: Mattia Altieri, 8 days & 9 species including Spotted Necked Otter, Mountain Gorilla and Mona Monkey.

Finland, 2014: Jan Kelchtermans, 5 days with mammals including Brown Bear, Flying Squirrel and Ringed Seal.

Abruzzo, 2014: Mark Hows, a few days and 20+ species including Brown Bear, Grey Mongoose and Savi’s Pine Vole.


Some recent articles

Posted October 20, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Uncategorized

Hello all, I’m back from a successful Snow Leopard search in Ladakh. A report will follow soonish.

Meantime here are three recent articles that I thought were good.

Japan’s whaling has produced more sushi than science

Rewilding the Land Can Repair Damage We’ve Caused and Reconnect Us to the Natural World.

Our Understanding of Giraffes Does Not Measure Up Giraffes may be popular — a staple of zoos, corporate logos and the plush toy industry — but until recently, almost nobody studied giraffes in the field, so there is much we don’t know about them.

More later


Quagga Project

Posted October 15, 2014 by mattinidaho
Categories: Uncategorized

I know this project generates a lot of mixed feelings — it’s innovative to some, and an expensive gimmick to others. I wrote a blog about the effort to breed back quagga-like zebras. Would welcome your thoughts.

Quagga: Can an Extinct Animal be Bred Back into Existence?

Finding Mammals in North America: last-minute RFI

Posted October 9, 2014 by vdinets
Categories: Uncategorized

Dear All,

I am about to receive the final proofs of my new book Finding Mammals in North America; this will be the last chance to add or change something. If you have any tips you haven’t shared yet, or got a new trip report that you haven’t yet posted, or just stumbled across a new taxonomy-changing paper, please don’t hesitate to share them. The final deadline is October 20. The book is already 350+ pages long, and I hope it will become a useful source of information for years to come.


Vladimir Dinets

Utah, Wyoming, Idaho & Montana

Posted October 9, 2014 by vdinets
Categories: Uncategorized

I’m back from a 6-day trip to the states listed above, mostly fact-checking for my upcoming book and enjoying the fall colors. There’s not enough new stuff for a trip report, but here are a few notes:

1. Fish Springs NWR, Utah. A wonderfully remote wildlife refuge with lots of desert pocket mice, semi-tame coyotes and white-tailed antelope squirrels. Look for mustangs if approaching it along Pony Express Rd. from the east. I also saw a few obviously feral domestic sheep in the mountains there – a big surprise.

2. Rockport State Park, Utah. Lots of white-tailed jackrabbits there. One was a roadkill, and I spent some time watching a least chipmunk pulling the fluff off its tail and carrying it away, apparently to insulate the nest for the winter.

3. Bear River State Park, Wyoming. Idaho pocket gophers live around the bison enclosure.

4. Grand Teton NP, Wyoming. Pikas are said to be very common in summer around the upper station of the cable car in Teton Village. Elk rut can be watched in the morning just N of the park entrance.

5. Yellowstone NP. We saw three Northern pocket gophers, active in the afternoon and very tame. Check the slope below Lake Hotel. Lamar Valley great as always (5 wolves, 3 grizzlies). Saw a black bear sow with 3 cubs near Mt. Washburn, a huge grizzly feeding on a roadkill elk fawn S of West Thumb, and another grizzly near Daisy Geyser. Yellow-pine chipmunks and deer mice very abundant this year.

6. Red Rock Lakes NWR, Montana. What a great place! You can watch moose rut at close range, plus there’s lots of elk, white-tailed deer and white-tailed jackrabbits. Wyoming ground squirrel is said to be very common in late spring. Briefly saw an Idaho pocket gopher at dawn on the mt. slope above the campground.

7. Cherry Springs Natural Area south of Pocatello, Idaho. Lots of Uinta chipmunks, and southern red-backed voles running around in brilliant daylight. Western spotted skunk is said to be common at night.

8. Antelope Island State Park,  Utah. A good place to see bison and pronghorn less than an hour from Salt Lake City. Should be good for smaller mammals, but we had a flight to catch and couldn’t wait until dark.

Vladimir Dinets


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