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.