Archive for July 2008

New Population of Greater Bamboo Lemurs found

July 25, 2008

New Population Of Highly Threatened Greater Bamboo Lemur Found In Madagascar (July 23, 2008) — Researchers in Madagascar have confirmed the existence of a population of greater bamboo lemurs more than 400 km from the only other place where the critically endangered species is known to live, raising hopes for its survival. … > full story

Chipmunk i.d. pages

July 21, 2008

Some years ago I wrote a small i.d. page on chipmunks. This project is now updated and expanded over two pages, and has many new photos by me and Blake Matheson. It begins at

Don Roberson (Pacific Grove, CA, USA)

Nice Aardvark Pictures

July 20, 2008

Trevor Hardaker sent me these two pictures a friend of his took a few days ago. The Aardvark was seen at lunchtime near Beaufort West in South Africa’s Karoo. I had heard (from Trevor) that they were often seen during the day in the winter time… and more evidence that the Karoo along with the Kimberley is a great place to see this animal


Mammal watching in Malaysia … A trip report from a local

July 20, 2008

We have been living on the island of Penang, in Malaysia for about 18months. Although Penang boasts a population of 1.5M and has a thriving business and shopping district, many mammals are visible on the mountain hiking trails, the national parks and botanical gardens. Penang, Langkawi and Peninsular Malaysia are home to many kinds of monkeys: The Long Tail Macaques are the most common, living in packs of 10-30. It is easy to spot the Alpha Male, and the guard males and really fun to watch the females with the babies playing in the afternoons. You are guaranteed to see dozens of these monkeys in the Botanical Gardens in Penang at any time of the day and any season of the year. There are also a few Pig Tail Macaques (these are similar in color to the Long Tail), but are larger, their face is hairless like a person, they are much more aggressive, and their tails are short and curly. Because these animals are trainable to work picking coconuts they are now much harder to see in the wild.  I did spot a mixed pack (Long & Pig Tail) on my way back from Fraser Hill, Malaysia which is about 2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. My most favorite monkeys are the beautiful Dusky Leaf, who live in the canopy, and almost never touch the floor. They are black in color with a white ring around the mouth and both eyes, and have an extremely long tail. They are from the gibbons family. They are larger than the Macaques, and fly through the trees like Tarzan in the cartoons. They are very hard to spot, but you can hear them whistle an alert as you approach them. Once you see one, keep looking in the tree canopy and eventually you will see the second, and then the third, etc until you see the entire pack. In the Botanical Gardens of Penang, I have always seen the same pack, which has 12 monkeys that are always seen together.  In Malacca, if you take the tourist train, you can see dozens of Silver Leaf Monkeys which are very tame. The locals sell leaves for any tourist to hand feed these beautiful black monkeys with a Mohawk.  It was a rush for me and my children to feed them by hand with absolutely no fear. They were tender and gentle and would hold me by the one hand, while feeding from my other.  Finally, the last type of monkey I have seen in the wild, I saw today for the first time. I saw several huge Banded Langurs in the highlands of Fraser Hill. I only caught a quick glimpse, but I understand these are fairly easy to spot.

Other common mammals easily visible include the Giant Black Squirrel, which is about as big as a large cat, and has a huge bushy black tail, a black body, with a beautiful rust colored neck and stomach. These are harder to spot, as they run very quickly and don’t sit still for long. On Penang Hill, you can spot them feeding in July for extended periods in the fruit trees of the David Brown Strawberry Hill restaurant. Finally, for some reason, almost all the house cats on the island of Penang are of the short tailed varierty. They are smaller than the cats in the US, and have tails about 2-3 inches long, some of which are curly on the end…. go figure!

I have tons of pictures but am unable to post them via this website for some reason… I’ll keep trying, but please feel free to give me hints how to post pictures by sending me email

Happy Mammal Watching!

Many new mammals discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

July 19, 2008

I was just sent a link to this site which is very interesting. Marc Van Roosmalen is a mammalogist who has spent 20 years in Brazil and discovered a heap of new species.

Finland Trip Report

July 19, 2008

I have just got back from a few days in Finland looking for Wolverines (successfully) and other stuff

A trip report is here


Over 100 species of bats found in a few acres of Ecuador Rainforest

July 19, 2008

Over 100 Species Of Bats Found Within Several Acres Of Rainforest In Ecuador (July 16, 2008) — Bats are a remarkable evolutionary success story representing the second largest group of mammals, outnumbered only by rodents in number of species. Now, researchers have discovered the place that harbors the highest number of bat species ever recorded. In several acres of rainforest in the Amazon basin of eastern Ecuador, the authors have found more than 100 species of bats. … > full story