Archive for June 2011

Lat/long converter, Google Earth link

June 30, 2011

I wanted to pass this online converter along. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to work with maps, and been very frustrated. I paid for a National Geographic topo program several years ago, and it sucked.

Works like a charm. Accepts data in many different formats and does the conversion. Explained enough that I could figure it out! Not sure about how it works outside the US.

The link to Google Earth is like a miracle, it goes right to the spot. Of course, that might just reflect my inexperience.

I’d be interested in hearing about any other sites for mapping/coordinate conversion/etc. that are good.


New Trip Reports – Italy and Norway

June 29, 2011

Hello from Australia, where my computer has finally arrived. I’ve a bit of catching up to do on the site but here are the first two reports I have uploaded.

Italy 2011: Vladimir Dinets, 3 weeks & several (mainly smaller) mammals and bats.


Norway, 2011: Karl Van Ginderdeuren, 2 weeks & 22 species including Arctic Fox, White-sided and White-beaked Dolphins, Mountain and Wood Lemmings, and three Vole species. Great photos too.

Both linked under the “other people’s trip reports” section of each page


North Carolina bat blitz update

June 29, 2011


I finally got around to looking at the registration for this and they don’t require any experience with bats to be an official participant, so no schmoozing is required. $25 for students, $50 otherwise; lodging (2-4 bed dorms) and meals included. Seems like a great opportunity, for even a casual naturalist. Seeing bats up close without being scared of them is very… you pick an adjective.

Vladamir’s web site has a page about the southern Appalachians, it compares to a region of China as unique in the world. I’m still learning. But I know there are a lot of endemic amphibians and aquatic invertebrates.

And there is a record of Eastern Spotted Skunk in the area!

The web site for the bat blitz is:



Mammals near Sao Paulo, Brazil

June 21, 2011


In the early August I will have a day free in Sao Paulo after Pantanal trip and I am looking for a place to watch some mammals and/or birds. Anybody can help with info eg. practical access to see Lion Tamarins?




Mammal watching in Carpathian mountains

June 12, 2011

A while ago I put a request for information out about mammals in the Carpathian Mountains, especially brown bears, so I thought I should report back.

Well I ¬†failed to see bears. We started off in Brasov. The people in our hotel were adamant that bears were no longer coming into the city due to cleaning up of rubbish and translocation of bears. The waiter at our restaurant thought the same, although he wasn’t so sure. We probably should have tried but we’d had an overnight flight, a day in the field and food, booze and a relatively early night were an over-whelming lure. We then spent three nights in the Zarnesti area. Sadly we failed to see any here either, despite a lot of time in the field, including quite a few hours spot lighting.

We did have some mammal success, the highlight being a wild cat – giving pretty good views – near Bran. We also saw mountain chamois at Zarnesti Gorge. Rather strangely our only red squirrel was in the road, just outside Bucharest. A quick break from the Carpathians gave us muskrat at Dubravita fishponds.

We also saw other stuff such as: fire salamander – nine in a day -white-backed woodpecker and ural owl.

A superb place, I’ll definitely be back for another try, and would be even if I’d seen bear.



New Trip Report – Pakistan

June 1, 2011

I was in Pakistan in April. A report of a successful though logistically challenging trip to see a Markhor is here