Archive for May 2012

New Trip Reports: Central African Republic & Tanzania

May 31, 2012

Tanzania, 2012: Indri Tours, 13 days & 47 species including an Aardwolf, Blue Duiker and Egyptian Mongoose.

Dzanga Sangha, 2012: Carmen and Torbjörn Lundqvist, 11 days & 28 species including Bongos and Lord Derby’s Anomalure.

Jon

New Trip Report: Idaho & Wyoming

May 31, 2012

Idaho & Wyoming, 2012: Steve Morgan, 2 weeks & 37 species including American Badger and Long-tailed Weasel.

ID help needed – Elephant Shrew sp. (Namibia)

May 29, 2012

Hi,

I made some record shots (see below) of two elephant shrews at Erongo Lodge in Namibia in April (trip report will follow soon).  I think that these are Bushveld Elephant Shrews (Elephantulus intufi), but I am not sure.  The guide called them Short-snouted  Elephant Shrews, but that seems incorrect since they don’t occur in that area according to the IUCN website.  However, Western (Smith’s) Rock Elephant Shrew Elephantulus rupestris does occur here. The field guide by Smithers gave the best hints to separate these elephant shews. For  E. Intufi: white eye ring, conspicuous russet patches behind the ears, and conspicuous white hairs on the edges of the ear. The guide also says that this species is normally yellow-ish buff, but distinctly greyer in northern Namibia. These characteristics can all be seen in the photo in my opinion. For Western (Smith’s) Rock Elephant Shrew Smither’s guide lists these characteristics: distinctive patch of reddish yellow at the base of each ear extending onto the nape (didn’t see this), brush at the tail end (not seen either, but tail was partly obscured), light grey overall and tinged yellow on the flanks and asides of the face.

Any help on the ID would be great !

Cheers,

Sjef

Photo 1

Photo2

Photo3

Sierra Leone and Gabon

May 28, 2012

Hi,

We would like to visit Sierra Leone (Tiwai Island and Gola NP), but there is little info about mammalwatching over there. Has anybody been there already? If so, what kind of mammals did you encounter? Is there a good chance to see the Diana monkeys? 

We would also like to visit Gabon. Our main focus would be to observe, film and photograph mandrills, but apparently many tour operator have stopped to go to Lopé NP, due to several reasons. We also heard that radio tracking mandrills by WCS has stopped altogether. By chance we came across a trip report about Ledeki Park. They have got habituated mandrills, but I’m a bit worried that a visit over there is more like visiting a zoo.. I would be very gratefull if any of you has got some more infos about both places and if it is worth to go there at all.

Thank’s a lot for your help.

Best regards

Carmen

Iberian Wild Boar on Camera

May 27, 2012

We live on the outskirts of a village 80 km from Valencia City, Spain. This rural village lies in a valley surrounded by mountains and hills, and consists of approximately 550 houses dotted around orange groves. There is one street of about 200 meters with two bars close to each other.

The mountains and hills are covered with jagged rocks with dense thorny bush making it very difficult to penetrate, and provide a safe haven for the Iberian Wild boar (Sus scrofa baeticus). Each evening the wild boar come down from the mountains and hills to forage in the orange groves, rooting for earth worms in the moist irrigated soils. They don’t damage the citrus but damage the drip irrigation systems. The farmers can get permission to hunt them at night on the basis of crop protection. However, the law states you can’t shoot within 200 meters of a dwelling.  This limits the farmers hunting, as most citrus groves are close to houses.

As the boars move around the citrus groves they set the dogs off barking. Fortunately for the boars few people in the village are  aware that their dogs are barking at wild boar. The boars are not frightened by these dogs and will continue rooting regardless of the dogs.  From my experience and now confirmed on  our camera, when the sows with piglets are confronted by dogs one sow will stay with the piglets and the other will aggressively attack the dogs chasing them well over a 100 m.

We decided it would be interesting to meet these characters of the night and I started putting out feed, every night  for weeks and was about to give up,  when to my delight,  the feed had at last been eaten. It then took a few more weeks of feeding, until the boars came every night.

The next step was to buy the camera and DVR recorder. Finally all was set up and the first night one boar appeared on camera and over the following weeks there were just two boars feeding and never at the same time.

One evening  two sows and 8 piglets  arrived and now  come every evening at 9.pm (central European time) and there is about 10 minutes of light before the camera switches to infrared and black and white. They stay until 11.30 and then move off to the orange groves. After midnight there are two young boars that come together and the two adult boars sometimes appear .The sows and their piglets generally come back around 4.00 am on their  way home  to the mountain . One night we briefly had 5 adult boars and 8 piglets on camera . The sows soon chased off the males.

In the coming months It is going to be very interesting to watch the piglets grow and the interaction between them and their mothers.

All the literature suggests the Iberian wild boar are not territorial. It seems to me that this group I am observing stay within our area. I know where they sleep in the day and where they feed at night.  Around the village there are several groups coming down from a different part of the mountain or hills. I suspect each group has its own  territory.

These wild boar are very selective feeders . They are not interested in any green or root vegetables. The farmers here only grow citrus. They don’t eat the acorns from the scrub oak. Apart from earth worms which I don’t think can sustain them , I wonder what their main diet consists of. They are all in good condition.

You can watch these boars at http://www.mangolink.com/general/webcams/wildlife/

We will be improving the quality of the live stream. At the moment the image is a little over exposed and we are investing in a higher  quality capture card.

Until next time

Chris Hallamore

Image

New Trip Reports – Big Bend (Texas) & Sri Lanka

May 26, 2012

Two new trip reports on mammalwatching.com

Big Bend Bat Watch, 2012: Fiona Reid, 1 week & 20+ species including the fabulous Ghost-faced Bat, Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Davis Mountain Cottontail, Swift Fox and Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat.

Sri Lanka, 2012: Rauno Väisänen, 1 week & 41 species including Rusty-spotted Cats, Leopard, Grey Slender Loris, Indian Porcupine and lots of bats.

Jon

Where to find a Puma in the USA

May 21, 2012

Hey guys,

I have a couple of weeks free before I start my new job and I really want to take the opportunity and take a road trip somewhere to see some mammals I haven’t seen, and preferably a Puma. Ok, I did see a puma but it was very brief and I didn’t get the chance to photograph it.

I live in St. Louis, MO and I was thinking of maybe driving up to Colorado or Utah or something like that.. I know California is good but is a little further than I’d like to drive alone. Any tips? Does anyone know a good guide or a company where I could track wild pumas?

If there is nothing reliable within driving distance of up to, let’s say 12-14 hours, I would also like to see a wild wolverine, fisher, marten, bobcat and lynx. So anyone who knows a particularly good guide, company, or a place where I almost for sure can see some of these mammals in a 4-5 day road trip I, please share 🙂

Thanks in advance!

Tomes