Archive for March 2015

New trip report: South Africa

March 31, 2015

A list of species seen on a successful trip to to South Africa, 2015: Romain Bocquier, 12 days & 61 species including Aardvark, Aardwolf, Wild Dog, Honey Badger, South African Hedgehog and some nice bats in his tent!


New trip report: Gujurat

March 31, 2015

Great new report from a Richard Webb-led, Wildwings tour to Gujurat: 12 days & 27 species including Striped Hyena, Asiatic Lion, Wolf and Desert Jird.



March 30, 2015


A worrying development for the world’s last remaining wild population of Red Wolves.  Let’s hope common sense will prevail and that 28 years of conservation work won’t be undone by short-sighted, misguided and frankly selfish hunters and landowners, who seem incapable of living alongside nature without acting on the urge to exterminate it.  It would appear these creatures are going to be removed from the wild for instinctively hunting natural prey that ends up being unnaturally killed by the hunting fraternity.  A ridiculous situation.

See below for a video summary from National Geographic.

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Another Western Sahara trip report

March 30, 2015

In March I got the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of many other mammal watchers and made a trip to Western Sahara. We didn’t do as well with spotlighting as lot of others do (we probably needed to spend more nights on the road), but still had some good sightings, including Atlantic Humpback Dolphin, and a few nice bits and pieces further north in Morocco.

Feel free to contact me on here or via the email address in the report if you want any more details, or info on bird/herp sightings.


Mike Hoit

Western Sahara report MW

Aplodontia rufa nigra

March 26, 2015

I checked the location for Point Arena mountain beaver (don’t remember who recommended it, but thanks!) at the end of Alder Creek Beach Rd. that branches of Hwy 1 just N of Manchester, CA. It worked! The place is now a bit overgrown, but I still managed to see this gorgeous black-and-white subspecies after less than 2 hours of waiting – try the area about 100 m before the terminal parking lot (the road is closed for traffic, so you have to walk for about a mile, but it’s a beautiful place and the views of sunset from the road’s end are superb). As an added bonus for birders, a brown shrike is now hanging out just below that parking circle at the road’s end.

But if you’ve never seen any mountain beavers, Lolo Pass in Oregon is still a bit better because you can watch dozens of burrows at the same time, rather than just a few, and you can sit in your car while waiting.


Top 10 Night Safaris

March 23, 2015

Here is a blog I wrote on night safaris. Keep in mind that my organization’s membership has all levels of nature skill and interest, so I tried to give a varied account. And I wanted to mainly include places I had already been. I am sure there are many great options I missed — be sure to leave your picks in the Comments section of Cool Green Science.

10 Night Safaris

Macroscelides micus

March 21, 2015

For those interested in sengis, the 2014 paper describing Macroscelides micus is in open access. It has some useful discussion on sengi systematics. Note that IUCN still lists Macroscelides as monotypic, although there are now three species.

In 2008 I drove just a few miles from M. micus range… but looks like the new species is not particularly common and seeing it would require more than passing effort. On the other hand, this is an absolutely delightful part of Namibia and spending some time there would be really enjoyable.