Archive for September 2015

New Trip Report: Maui

September 30, 2015

Vladimir Dinets took a nearly-mammalless vacation in Maui and sent me these notes on the island’s few mammals.

Maui, 2015: Vladimir Dinets’s notes on various mammals occasionally seen on Maui.


Breaking news: Sowerby’s Beaked Whale in Germany

September 30, 2015

If I was in Europe I’d be on the first plane to Wismar, Germany where a Sowerby’s Beaked Whale is currently hanging around not far off shore and breaching regularly, so Mathieu from Germany tells me.

Would love to see photos if anyone tries for it


Quick update from Iceland.. Just 5 species

September 30, 2015

So this clearly wasn’t a mammal-watching trip…

We saw 5 species: Grey and Harbor seals at Ytri-Tunga point on Snaefellsnes (both species are always present).

Then at Husavik we took a whale-watching excursion with North Sailing. They have a 94%-96% success rate. Despite that statistic, on the afternoon tour we only saw 1 species: Harbor Porpoises (which at least I got a decent picture of). Then they gave us vouchers to go again for free the next morning. Only my sister and I went, and we got Humpback Whale, and my only lifer for the trip (I think): Minke Whale, which was too quick to photograph.

As Sabrina Bando so kindly advised me, white-beaked dolphins are best seen at the bay of Reykjavik (better seen from a boat, though we didn’t have time) than anywhere else around the island. Blue whales are almost guaranteed during July in Husavik while whale watching.

I also had my eye out for arctic fox which isn’t terribly uncommon around the island. Perhaps the best place for seeing them is in the West Fjords, specifically around the Arctic Fox center. Though a bit disappointed, I’m not too worried about it because I know I will see this species elsewhere. They can be seen sometimes in Snaefellsnes national park, Skaftafell National Park, or around Vik. Though Icelanders do not like them and will shoot them or call an exterminator if they see them anywhere because they sometimes attack sheep.

I think there is a tiny population of polar bears on one of the off-shore islands in the North, but you would clearly not choose Iceland as your polar-bear watching destination.

Otherwise, it’s an amazing country!


Zoo neighbors complaining about nocturnal sounds reveal interesting findings…

September 28, 2015

This may be already going viral but I just heard about it:

– Leslie

Mountain Bear Cuscus

September 26, 2015

Hi people,

Back in August 2009 I spend a few days at Lore Lindu National Park, central Sulawesi, Indonesia. There, about halfway along the Anaso Track (1700 m. elevation) in rainforest I filmed this Bear Cuscus.

When I received the Handbook of the Mammals Volume 5: Marsupials I found out they elevated the former subspecies furvus to specific level.

Some info from HMW Volume 5: Montane forests at elevations of c. 800 m to at least 2000 m. The Mountain Bear Cuscus occurs in the same geographical regions as the Common Bear Cuscus but generally occurs in forests situated at higher elevations. The Common Bear Cuscus occuring to about 1000 m elevation.

I had the chance to look for Common Bear Cuscus at Tankoko in north-east Sulawesi but didn’t do it because I had found this one. Turns out to be a different species, darn! That is, if you follow the HMW taxonomy.

Schermafdruk 2015-09-26 11.46.59 Schermafdruk 2015-09-26 11.47.23

Best regards,

Pieter de Groot Boersma

ID please: Brazil bats at hummingbird feeders

September 25, 2015

bat1 bat2 bat3

Hi! I’m new to this Forum. I am a birdwatcher from Mexico with an interest in mammals. I need help with identification, please. I first thought they were some species of Anoura but after looking at diagrams the interfemoral membrane to my untrained eye looked more like Artibeus! (which I doubt these are)

I took these photographs of bats visiting the hummingbird feeders at Guapi Assu Bird Lodge (REGUA) in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. The photos may represent different individuals or, indeed, different species (there were several individuals present). All were taken in the evening of October 6 or 7, 2014. The photos can be zoomed into to view details more clearly (I think).


Héctor Gómez de Silva

Finland, Vole? ID please.

September 25, 2015

Hi can anyone help with this little critter? I think it’s some kind of vole. I also thought I saw a couple of larger grey rodents, I think they might have been wood lemmings but does anyone know if they are found in the vicinity of Kuikka Base Camp near Kuhmo?