If you want to see a number of ground squirrel species in the West, you really have to come in the spring. About this time each year, they start to disappear again, back underground:
Archive for June 2010
I’ve added a report of a short trip to Estonia, where I saw the Flying Squirrel I was looking for but not the European Mink.
It is a very nice place and highly recommended.
Hugh Buck has sent me through 4 great reports to interesting places off the beaten wildlife track.
Djibouti 2007: 4 days & 10 mammals including Gerenuk, Somali Elephant Shrew and Speke’s Pectinator.
Djibouti & Somaliland 2010: 2 weeks & 17 mammals including Speke’s Pectinator, Naked Mole Rat, Desert Warthog and Beira.
Yemen and Socotra 2007: 10 days & 5 mammals including a King Jird.
Tunisia and Algeria 2009: Hugh Buck, 10 days & 17 species including a possible Fennec Fox.
Coke Smith sent me a great report from Knight’s Inlet, Johnstone Strait and Vancouver Island a few weeks ago. He saw 13 species including Vancouver Island Marmots (which I thought were extinct in the wild) and Martens.
Here is some nice video of the Maned Wolf at Caraca in Brazil from Lee Dingain’s blog
A nice article on how little is known about the taxonomy of Australia’s bats …
A few weeks ago a Gray Whale was reported off of Israel. See here. What is presumably the same individual was recently seen just outside Barcelona Harbour. Incredible. One theory is that it crossed from the Pacific to the Atlantic last summer because of the lack of ice and is now following the west european coast rather than the western US.
On 30th May 2012, at 16:30h an unusual sighting of a gray whale in front of the Barcelona harbour (41º20’79’’ N Long 2º11’72’’E ) was confirmed. The whale was consistently heading south at slow pace. The sighting was confirmed by members of SUBMON, and NGO dedicated to develop studies related to the conservation and assessment of marine habitats. Pictures from this sighting were compared by the ones taken by Aviad Scheinin from IMMRAC on May 8th 2010 in Israel waters (distributed in MARMAM) by Manuel Castellote at the National Marine Mammal Lab (AFSC-NMFS-NOAA) confirming the matching, indicating that the same individual travelled from Israel to Spain in 23 days.
This is the first time that a gray whale is sighted in the western basin of the Mediterranean Sea and just the second time that’s it is reported in the whole basin. Taking into account the relevance of this sighting, SUBMON is coordinating the effort to re-sight the whale in Spanish waters in order to assess his health condition, reduce collision risks with vessels and obtain a biopsy sample of this individual to determine its population identity.
The latest news from Bat Conservation International….
Bat Conservation International learned this week that the fungus linked to White-nose Syndrome, which has killed more than a million bats to date, has been confirmed on another bat species. A southeastern myotis found at Virginia’s Pocahontas State Park last month has tested positive for the White-nose fungus. This is the ninth bat species so far threatened with White-nose Syndrome.
This southern species could carry the fungus into the deep South, since its range reaches from Indiana and Illinois south along the Mississippi River and East Texas and then along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts to North Carolina.
In addition to caves, southeastern myotis use an assortment of roosts, such as hollow trees, underground cisterns, bridges, buildings and culverts. To date, the WNS fungus has only been found on bats that hibernate in caves and mines.
Biologists do not know whether the WNS fungus will survive in warm, humid climates or in non-cave habitats. Many hope a climate barrier will stop the fungus or prevent its progression into disease. We may soon find out, as this new species signals an important shift in latitude.
More than a million bats have died from White-nose Syndrome so far, and as it continues to spread, millions more are threatened. BCI will continue to work around the clock to combat this deadly disease. Learn more about White-nose Syndrome here.
Bat Conservation International
P.S. – To support Bat Conservation International’s efforts to combat this devastating epidemic, you can donate at www.batcon.org.
John Fox sent me a report of a recent trip through Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
He saw a lot of nice stuff and picked up 20 lifers.
The report is at the bottom of
This is a link to an interesting slide show on the white-color-phase black bears that roam the Canadian temperate rainforest of British Columbia. Also called “spirit bears” or “Kermode bears”, this unusual color phase is only found in this part of its range.