Archive for March 2010

Lonely Planet’s A Year of Watching Wildlife

March 24, 2010

The “travel list” has become a bit of a tired concept, with far too many “ten best” lists and “fifty places to see before you die.”

Lonely Planet’s A Year of Watching Wildlife is a bit different, in that it is organized by calendar, with a wildlife event to see for each week of the year. It’s an attractive book, with nice photos, good information and good writing.

Of course, all the “usual suspects” are here–the Serengeti, the Amazon, the Galapagos. But I think there’s enough here to interest even more serious traveling naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts.¬† There are some intriguing trip ideas like the lek displays of kob, Zambian fruit bat colonies, bioluminescent bays and more.

I’m sure you won’t agree with all the choices, but I guess that’s part of the fun. In any case, it’s a decent book for your shelf¬† if you’re a traveling wildlife enthusiast. Just thought I’d pass along a mini-review.

White-nosed Fungus Spreads to Canada

March 22, 2010

More sad news on the spread of this fungus in North America

Black footed Ferrets and Long tailed Weasels – RFI

March 20, 2010

I should hopefully be in the US for a week in mid April. I’m planning to spend a couple of days around Idaho (with Matt Miller) and then probably 2 or 3 in Yellowstone and then a couple more near LA (but I might go instead to Arizona). Does anyone know any reliable spots for Ferrets or Long-tailed Weasels in those states or the general vicinity (general = < 400 miles)?

I'd also love to see a Lynx or a Fisher but I suspect this will be considerably more difficult…..



Iberian Lynx Report – Rio Andujar

March 16, 2010

I’ve just added a great report from Lee Dingain who saw Lynxes in February during a short trip to Spain. There is a great deal of detail in this report so it is very useful if you are contemplating a trip.


March 12, 2010

Michel Gervais spent a week in Niger in Feb. He saw 23 species and a possible West African Manatee. He also includes a picture of a mouse that needs identification… good luck!

Costa Rica Trip Report

March 12, 2010

I’ve uploaded a report of my week in Costa Rica… saw a lot more mammals than I was expecting (mainly because of a whole stack of bats… I think a shitload of bats is the correct scientific term). Highlights included Baird’s Tapir, White-lipped Peccary and a fabulous Silky Anteater.


ID help wanted with Mexican mammals

March 10, 2010

Hi all.

I wonder if anyone out there can help me identify some mammals (mostly squirrels) I saw on a a birding trip to western Mexico in 1999. The volume of “Mammals of the Neotropics” dealing with Mexico was supposedly about to be published back then, so I thought I’d wait till that came out to ID them. However, more than 10 years later, there’s still no published guide to mammals of Mexico away from the far south east, and nothing very helpful online, so I thought I’d see whether anyone can help with any of the IDs. I’d be really grateful for any help anyone can provide on the following:

A rather large, long-tailed squirrel, more or less all grey (lacking the red belly of Red-bellied Squirrel) seen in forest at Volcan de Fuego (Colima) and at La Bajada and Cerro San Juan (both near San Blas, Nayarit) – I suspect this (and/or the one below) is Collie’s Squirrel, but I can’t find any photos of this species online.

A small, plain-looking grey squirrel in mangroves at San Blas (Nayarit).

A small, greyish ground squirrel just outside Colima city.

A grey squirrel, looking very like Eastern Gray Squirrel, in forest along the Durango Highway (Sinaloa).

A large rabbit or small hare with rather short ears in forest at Volcan de Fuego (Colima).

A rather large, very dark brown, vole-like rodent (about the size of a Brown Rat) at Lerma Marshes, just west of Mexico City.

Finally, can anyone confirm that the bats roosting in the statue of the Virgin at Microondas La Cumbre (Colima) are Mexican Freetails?

If anyone can suggest IDs for any of these, or know who I might contact who could help, I’d be really grateful.


John Archer
London, England