South Florida & St. Croix

Posted August 27, 2014 by mattinidaho
Categories: Uncategorized

I’ll be in South Florida and St. Croix in mid-October. I’ve read all the trip reports and previous blogs on this and there’s a lot of good information. Some follow-up questions:

Can the Florida mastiff bat be seen over the Coral Gables golf courses in October?

I have seen some mentions of a spotted skunk spot near Miami, perhaps that a field herper takes people to? Is that still an option, or is it a secret spot?

Any reliable place to see manatees at this time of year?

I know this is a long shot, but it looks like St. Croix has some interesting bats. Anyone know of any bat biologists on that island?

Any other news tips or spots greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Paying communities per mammal seen in Laos….

Posted August 23, 2014 by tembo10
Categories: Uncategorized

I’ve just heard that the WCS Laos program and several partners have set up a great project that takes people on night boat rides and then pays the community according the number of mammals seen. Sounds like a brilliant idea to me – lets hope it catches on. I’m attaching the blurb that came with the email. The species list is a bit generic, but it gives a sense of what can be seen. I’ll try to find out more about current sighting success from the project members.


‘WCS’s Nam Nern Night Safari has been short-listed for the People’s Choice World Responsible Tourism Award this year. The Night Safari is an innovative community-based ecotour developed by the WCS in cooperation with the Government of Lao PDR and 14 partner communities. Longtail river boats take guests upstream in the afternoon, and after a riverside dinner, the boats float downstream at night without engines to spot wildlife including sambar deer and various species of civets. Other species seen include barking deer, otter, tiger tracks, Asian golden cat, dhole, sun bear, python, loris, Chinese serow, hog badger, porcupine, spotted Linsang, wild pig, and macaques. This is perhaps the only place in the country where tourists can see these species in the wild.

The tour provides direct incentives for wildlife conservation by linking the revenue earned by the 14 partner communities with the numbers of wildlife seen and recorded by tourists during each tour. The proceeds directly fund forest patrols, conservation education, schools, and small village-based economic development programs. As wildlife sightings increase, more locals view conservation as an active and profitable partnership. Local villagers also work as guides, boatmen, cooks, and handicraft producers.

The project with the most votes wins, so please vote and spread the word:’

New trip reports – Alaska & Uganda

Posted August 21, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Africa, North American

A couple of excellent reports just added to, both featuring a bunch of stuff I’ve not seen and some nice photos too.

Alaska, 2014: Stefan Lithner, 3 weeks & 29 species including Largha Seal, Northern Bog and Brown Lemmings, and Water, Tundra and Dusky Shrews.

Uganda, 2014: Peregrine Rowse, 17 days & 42 species including Ruwenzori Sun and Carruthers’ Mountain Squirrels, Ruwenzori Red Duiker, L’Hoest’s & De Brazza’s Monkeys and Central African Red Colobus. Thanks to Richard Webb for sending this to me.


Revision to Humpback Dolphin taxonomy

Posted August 19, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Uncategorized

A good deal of work has gone into this study to sort out the genetics of the Sousa genus

In a nutshell S.chinesis has been split into 3 species.

S. Chinensis remains off of SE Asia, Hong Kong etc;

S. Sahulensis is a new species off the coast of Australia and New Guinea; and

S. Plumbea in the Indian Ocean from Southern Africa through to somewhere around Laos.

All of which I have seen, though I have yet to see the West African species, Sousa teuszi (the West African species)


New trip report – Poland

Posted August 17, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Europe and the Palearctic

Poland, 2014: Mark Hows, 4 days & 18 species including Spotted Souslik, Pine Marten and Racoon Dog.


Serval photographed in Morocco

Posted August 17, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Africa, Europe and the Palearctic

This is interesting. I had no idea Servals came so far north

Many thanks to Mohamed from Moroccan Birds for sending this through


RFI: Porcupines in Italy (again)

Posted August 15, 2014 by Jon Hall
Categories: Europe and the Palearctic

I’ve asked this before – here and here - but I continue to fail dismally at finding Porcupines in Italy. So I will ask again just in case there is any new info. I will be in Italy in mid September and should have a couple of nights to look for them. Can anyone recommend really good spots to search? I will be in Turin until the weekend but realise I will have to travel from there, so am thinking of trying Recanati (which Luca Peruzzi recommended) but where Mike Richardson failed to see them this year, unless there are other options…




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