Archive for December 2012

End-of-the-Year Trip To California to Yosemite and Pt. Reyes. 16 Mammal species incl. Bobcat and Marten

December 22, 2012

Attached is my 4-page trip report, where I spilled out all my knowlege about Yosemite and some about Point Reyes, and described my mammal encounters, the highlights of which for me were clearly the bobcat and the American Marten. Yosemite is amazing and I’ll link my Flickr Album as a comment when it’s done. 16 species, but only 15 identified

Word Document (click on link then click on link again): California 2012

Red and Grey Squirrels in Ireland

December 21, 2012

This article is quite interesting… could a resurgent Pine Marten population in Ireland be helping to remove invasive Grey Squirrels?


New Trip Report – Sri Lanka

December 21, 2012

A last trip report for 2012, is this incredible trip to Sri Lanka on a tour Fiona Reid organised. Other than South Africa I am not sure I know anywhere where you can see 61 species in 2 weeks. And – as a proportion of the species in the country – this is also amazing, as it saw something like 60% of all the species recorded in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, 2012: Fiona Reid, 2 weeks & 61 species! A record breaking trip which had both Rusty Spotted and Fishing Cats, all the squirrels, Porcupine, Sloth Bear and Bryde’s and Dwarf Sperm Whales.

See the Sri Lanka page too

I am heading toi Sulawesi tonight to meet up with Coke and Som Smith and hopefully some Babyrusas.

Happy Christmas, happy new year and happy everything!


New England Cottontails

December 20, 2012

This Wildlife Management Institute web site–written by my friend, author and naturalist Charles Fergus–is an excellent resource on the poorly understood New England cottontail. 

Data gathering for Master thesis – Biogeography & conservation of mammals in the Mediterranean ecoregion

December 20, 2012

Dear all,

As I will explain in this post, I am currently gathering spatial data of presence for all mammals in the Mediterranean ecoregion for my Master thesis. I am contacting a lot of different institutions such as NGOs, state boards, scientists. However, being myself very keen on tracking mammals, I am convinced that naturalists have large amounts of data. Please, find below a description of both my status and my project.

I am doing a master thesis focusing on conservation planning of terrestrial mammals within the Mediterranean Basin at the University of Stockholm, under the supervision of Prof. Anders Angerbjörn. Furthermore, I am currently working in the Global Mammal Assessment program (, which is a partner of the IUCN and which is led by Prof. Boitani and Dr. Rondinini (University La Sapienza of Rome). This group is in charge of assessing mammal extinction risks, refining distribution maps and forecast scenarios of mammal loss driven by global change. Prof. Stéphane Aulagnier is also collaborating on the project bringing his expertise of the Mediterranean ecoregion.
We have constructed both habitat suitability models (Rondinini et al. 2011) and species distribution models (Maiorano et al. 2011) for most of the mammalian species in the Mediterranean ecoregion. These models may be very useful to refine the species distribution ranges provided by the IUCN, and to inform conservation planning. My thesis specifically aims at comparing these two modeling approaches, and to investigate the extent by which their differences impact conservation planning within the Mediterranean Basin (evaluation of the current network of protected areas and suggestion of new areas).
We already took advantage of globally available data (GBIF, African Mammal Databank, European Atlas etc.) for model calibration. We are now seeking additional independent point locations for model evaluation. As a general observation, we lack data for rodents & insectivores (but all species are interesting, even the most common) and in the South & East part of the study area (Maghreb, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece). If you are willing to contribute to our study with your personal data or if you know people who can help, here is a more detailed description of what we are precisely looking for:
Type of data: geo-referenced presence records
Species: at this stage of the study all terrestrial mammals, including bats
Dataset/age: all points collected from 1940 on (preferentially from 1990)
Precision: exact coordinates are best, however, we are also willing to incorporate atlas data (degraded on grids such as 1x1km or more)
Collection protocol: no specific requirement; systematic surveys, opportunistic observations, roadkills, camera-trap data, species identified via diet analysis of carnivores are all useful
Quantity: few points can make a difference – so small contributions may also be important
Area: whole Mediterranean ecoregion
 (black=protected areas)

Any contribution to our study will of course be acknowledged in our subsequent report and expected paper. We will also develop a webpage on our website for data providers. Furthermore, we do not publish any row data and can establish official conventions if necessary. Unfortunately, we have a tight research agenda, which constrains us to close the data gathering to start the analyses by mid- to end-January.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Best wishes,

Nathan Ranc

Madagascar, Lemurs, and Spies – on USA Animal Planet tonight

December 18, 2012

Dear Mammal,

I thought you might be interested that our latest silky sifaka and rosewood conservation film produced and filmed by the BBC is airing on Animal Planet Channel in the USA this tuesday Dec 18 at 8pm EST.

“Madagascar, Lemurs, and Spies” narrated by Sir David Attenborough

Full details here:

This film has won several conservation awards,

Any advertisement or promotion would be much appreciated,

all the best,


New Trip Report – Madagascar

December 18, 2012

Another Madagascar report this time from Torbjörn Lundqvist, who visited some of the less mammal-watched spots, and in 3.5 weeks saw 38 species including some unusual ones, including – best of all in my opinion – Aye Ayes. Great report.

The Madagascar page is here.