Archive for July 2016

New Trip Report: Raja Ampat (West Papua)

July 31, 2016

And here is the last of Curtis Hart’s four reports from a spectacular location where the mammals can be very hard to find.

Raja Ampat, 2016: Curtis Hart, 4 weeks & 8 species including Northern Common and Waigeo Cuscuses.



New Trip Reports: Borneo (Sabah and Brunei)

July 30, 2016

And here’s two more from Curtis Hart covering his Bornean adventures.

Sabah, 2015: Curtis Hart, 2 weeks & 35+ species including Spotted Giant Flying SquirrelBInturong and a Sun Bear.

Brunei, 2015: Curtis Hart, 2 weeks & 10 species including North Bornean Gibbons and a Sunda Flying Lemur.


New Trip Report: Sulawesi

July 30, 2016

Curtis Hart spent the (northern) winter in Borneo and Indonesia.  Here’s the first of four reports from him about this exciting mammal watching region.

Sulawesi, 2015: Curtis Hart, 3 weeks & 16 species including BabirusaMoorHeck’s and Crested Macaques and Bare-backed Fruit Bats.


Karasu beaked whale in the Pribilofs

July 27, 2016

The yet undescribed karasu beaked whale, previously known only from Japan, washes up in the Pribilofs: article.

We’ll be looking for it during our Bering Sea Islands trip next year.

Vladimir Dinets

Scythebill – free software for keeping mammal records

July 26, 2016


I’ve been using Scythebill to keep my bird records for a while.  The latest version now allows you to import lists of other creatures, and with Jon’s world mammal list available for download in a compatible format, it’s now a great way of keeping track of mammal sightings.

Full information is available at

It is available for Windows, Mac or Linux.  Once records have been entered, you can generate lists of what you’ve seen by location, keep track of your world mammal list, click and drag photos and so on.  Here are a few reasons why I like it:

  • compared to some other commercially available programmes it’s relatively straightforward.  It does the basics well but isn’t too complicated to learn.
  • it has lots of useful features, for instance the ability to tag records as uncertain, introduced species, heard only, photographed etc.  You can then define whether you want your list totals to include heard and introduced species or not.
  • you can input and export sightings easily – very important to me as I could import twenty years of bird records from Birdbase.
  • while the database is stored on your hard drive it can be set up so that a backup copy of everything is stored in a cloud service such as dropbox, meaning your records are safe if the computer fails or is stolen.
  • for birds it makes it easy to manage species splits and lumps.  No doubt that will happen with mammals too once the checklist gets revised.

I’ve made Australian reptile and frog lists available too.  I am no expert when it comes to spreadsheets but it was very easy to put them together.  These and the mammal lists are available at

Murray Lord

New Trip Report: Qinghai and Sichuan

July 26, 2016

Another very successful trip report covering both Sichuan & Qinghai on the same trip. I am envious of all those badgers in particular!

Sichuan & Qinghai, 2016: Juan Luis Ortega Herranz, 17 days & 35 species including Chinese Mountain CatPallas’s CatTibetan MacaqueHog, Asian and Chinese Ferret Badgers, Chinese Serow and many of the Tibetan specialities.


New Trip Report: Sichuan and Qinghai

July 24, 2016

Nigel Goodgame had a great time in China, and managed – with the new roads – to combine the Qinghai area and Sichuan into one 3 week trip.

Sichuan & Qinghai, 2016: Nigel Goodgame, 22 days & 34 species including Chinese Mountain CatPallas’s CatAsiatic Black BearChinese Ferret BadgerHog BadgerTakin and Tufted Deer.