New Trip Report – The Dominican Republic

I spent last weekend with Fiona Reid and Vladimir Dinets in the Dominican Republic. A report is here of the 4 day trip which found 7 species of mammals including both Hispaniolan Solenodon and Hutia.

Fiona and Vladimir stayed on for a few days and found more. But they can tell you about that.

Jon

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10 Comments on “New Trip Report – The Dominican Republic”


  1. Given your success with mammalwatching and ability to travel around the world, what IS your current top ten most desired mammals? You have to be running out of “low hanging fruit”, so to speak.

  2. Jon Hall Says:

    Good question Morgan. I guess for me there is still some low hanging fruit on the cool mammals list. So species that are now quite easy (if not cheap) to see if you can get to the right place are Snow Leopard and Leopard Seal. Then there are other things that I think that are findable with a bit of effort: fruit I can grab on tip toes: Aye Aye, Sun Bear, Eurasian Lynx, Otter Civet. Then there’s high hanging fruit: Bactrian Camel, Giant Pangolin And then there’s the fruit that I’d need a helicopter to pick: Dingiso, Okapi! But who knows … maybe in a few years all of these will move down the tree. Snow Leopards and Solenodons were in the helicopter category a few years ago after all.


    • It’s interesting isn’t it? how from decade to decade what critters change from being impossible to possible, and vice versa.

      On that note, I have also seen some critters go from easier to hard. Like the cancellation of the Giant Panda tours in China, or the closing down of the Ferry that ran from Britain to Portugal, and was one of the best chances to see several cetaceans like bottle-nosed whale. It’s unfortunate being a student and getting interested in mammals, but not having the time or money to pursue stuff like you would like, and then to have the opportunity disappear.

      • Jon Hall Says:

        It is very interesting I agree. Without any real data to back me up I do think that the trend is still positive. On balance I suspect worldwide there are more species that you or I could see in the wild than we could 10 years ago. I’ve heard a few people say that this is probably the optimal moment in history to be interested in seeing wildlife. The world is more accessible (its cheaper to travel than ever before and its also possible to many regions that were hitherto inaccessible) than ever before, and though biodiversity is declining it seems likely that the pace of decline will accelerate. Lets hope not but its hard to be optimistic


      • There is still the ferry to Iceland via the Faroes, which should be almost as good. Also, aren’t there some bottle-nosed whale locations off Norway?


  3. Aye-aye can be very easily seen for something like $20 if you are in eastern Madagascar.

    • Jon Hall Says:

      Where is that Vladimir?


      • On Aye-Aye Island near Mananara. It’s a well-known place, even mentioned in LP. We saw three aye-ayes (including a mother teaching its baby to feed on coconuts) on the first night, but generally it’s recommended to stay for two nights for 100% certainty. The island also has grey bamboo lemur, brown lemur (don’t remember which ssp.), and white-bellied nesomys.

  4. brugiere dominique Says:

    Hi Jon and “Chapeau” for the Solenodon. I didn’t know how to see one. Now I know. They are too many places where to go. But it is the fun. I agree that it is easier to see more species, with easier access, more informations on the net… Twenty years ago it was far harder to get informations.
    Thank again for your website.


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