Mammalwatching Plans for 2013

At this time of year I start thinking about all the mammals I’d like to see in the next year and I guess others are doing the same. I thought it might be helpful if we shared some of our plans in case people want to travel together or simply coordinate. I also think its also good to know who is going where because, at the very least, it can help inspire other travel.

My plans are pretty vague so far for this year. But if all goes to plan then I hope to go to Nicaragua in late Feb to catch bats for a weekend, try to visit Quebec City to try for Fishers in March, look for Solenodons in the Dominican Republic in April. I will be taking a Bat Conservation International workshop in the Chiricahua Mountains in early June.

Further afield I want to go to Brazil (mainly to see Giant Armadillo) at some point – maybe August and hope to visit Tibet and Sichuan towards the end of the year.

What are other people thinking of doing?



  • heavenlyjane

    Please share your strategy for spotting solenodons. Seeing one is on my bucket list.

  • kittykat23uk

    This is a great subject, and great timing! Some of you will recall I posted an itinerary for India, sadly, my plans to do Gujarat and Tadoba have hit rocky ground and it is now very unlikely that I will get there at the end of next month. I was unable to find sufficient people able to commit for that time of year, as only myself and one other guy were keen, and neither of us could afford the SRS. Ideally we needed a minimum of 4 including two other singles to share rooms to make the trip workable. Currently in discussion as to whether to postpone to November/December or whether we can look to scale back the itinerary to make it affordable for the two of us who are still keen. In which case I think we would be looking at April. So if you think a mammal fest in Gujarat and Tadoba might be for you, let me know!

    I really had my heart set on India, but In preparation for plan B, I have been looking around at different options. I have been considering Baja California, Sri Lanka, and Ethiopia for a trip in the same time frame as India, or Borneo for later in the year maybe, to name just a few options. But right now, I’m very open to suggestions, if anyone is looking to fill a trip with a good selection of mammals and birds please let me know.

    My last two trips were to Mana Pools and Madagascar, so I would be keen to try somewhere other than Southern Africa.

    All the best


  • Mike Richardson

    Nothing set in stone yet but I’m planning a short trip to Spain in February to look for wolves and a few smaller mammals.

    April I’m most likely going to Arizona to mop up a number of mammals I missed last time. RFI will follow shortly.

    Nothing else planned although I have a few ‘easy’ UK mammals left to see. It’s just a matter of getting the time off work and making the effort.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    I’ll only have one month of vacation this year, which is close to nothing. Plan A for now is to go to some of the following: Vanuatu, PNG, Sabah, N Luzon, SE China, S Korea and N Ussuriland. Plan B is to go to a few places in Central Africa, and plan C is Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. I might also squeeze in a few short trips, i.e. S Italy/Sicily/Sardinia in spring, Alaska in September and Sichuan or Taiwan in October-November. Also, I’m trying to find financing to go to a conference in Sri Lanka in spring.

  • heavenlyjane

    What part of DR can solenodons be found? Would you focus on a national park?

  • John Fox

    At the top of my list is a cruise through the Canadian arctic, hopefully this one

    Four true seals, Narwhal, Polar Bear and Walrus, maybe Bowhead and N Bottlenose Whales. And it’d be a hoot to see the northernmost point of the mainland continent; the Drake Channel is the other end. If anyone wants to share a cabin please get in touch.

    Hopefully Alaska in the fall, try for Bowhead and Ribbon Seal, Ross’s Gull at Barrow.

  • Alan

    Looks like it will be a low key year for us. We are in Yellowstone in June and will likely take California trips in Feb (maybe Point Reyes), Apr (Joshua tree/Death Valley), and Sept (Monterey).

  • tomeslice

    This will be a low-key year for me as well, since I’m… umm…. starting school again (Master’s program in Mechanical Engineering).

    But I am still going with my parents and sister to Tanzania in February which I’m ecstatic about since it’s all of our’s first time to Africa!! Feb. 21st!!! 😀

    Other than that, I’m going to school in Israel, and I haven’t lived there since I was 12 so there are tons of places and species I haven’t seen. I’m definitely wanting to finally see the jungle cat which should be easy in Aagamon (ha)Hula’s organized night drive, and there are always caracals in Israel, but let’s be realistic… Sand cats, however, are possible, as are wolves which I STILL haven’t seen, and striped hyenas, beech martens, and much more. If anyone is stopping by Israel any time in the next 2-3 years hit me up! I’d love to explore the Negev, the Golan Heights, the Hula Valley, Jerusalem’s mountains, etc. (but I know people are weary of going to the middle east). Most of my friends there, wait, no – all of my friends there are all about partying and not wildlife watching, which is cool most of the time, but mammal-watching buddies are always welcome!

    Have a good and successful year everyone!

    **On another note 2012 was by FAR the best mammal-watching year of my life with 2 anteater species in costa rica, and tapir, olingo, puma etc. Grizzlies, sea otters and some cetaceans in Vancouver, long-tailed weasel, bobcat, marten, elephant seals and much more than I’ve never seen before. I’m catching up. Good times…

  • white1985

    Tim and I are planning to visit Malaysia (mainland and Borneo) this spring. It would be our first trip to Asia, so about everything would be new for us!
    Maybe I can squeeze in a week in Poland in the summer.

    Last year was a calm year travel-wise with just two weeks in Spain (trip report coming soon!) so I really look forward to a longer and more exotic trip in 2013!


    I have a group of 12 I am leading to Northern Tanzania in May, plan to see Arusha N.P. for the first time. Don’t expect to see any new mammals except for bats & rodents if I am lucky. Also planning a post safari site inspection to Zanzibar. Will try for Zanzibar colobus & bushbabies.

  • heavenlyjane

    In March, we head down to Big Pine Keys in Florida to see Key Deer; then in May, to the Yucatan to see world’s largest nesting grounds of the Caribbean Flamingos. Yes, not mammals, but still a thrill.

  • Watelet Michel

    Hi Jon,
    I’m come back from a great trip in Japan.
    My plans for 2013 are :
    I guide a group in Spain for Iberian Lynx in 10 to 17 March.
    Sichuan for Red Panda, Takin, … 27 Mai to 16 June.
    Brasil (Pantanal, Mata Atlantica, Amazone) 5 to 24 July.
    I guide a group in Rwanda for Gorillas, birds, … 17 to 26 August.
    I guide a group in Ladakh for Snow Leopard; 21 September to 8 October
    Western Indian for Lion, Wolf, Wild Ass, Stripped Hyena, … in January 2014.
    All the best for 2013.
    Michel Watelet

  • mattinidaho

    A lot of my plans are up in the air at the moment. My wife and I are definitely doing a camping trip around New Mexico and southern Colorado in May, primarily to visit ruins, hike and see my cousin. But I also hope to add a number of mammals to my list.

    I’ll be in New England and California for work, with a lot of other possibilities still in limbo but some exciting possibilities.

    I hope everyone has a great year, and I look forward to reading the trip reports!

  • morganchurchill

    My plans are quite vague right now; I will be defending sometime in 2013 and yet to have a job lined up for after that.

    Anyways possibilities are:

    Yellowstone late may/early June: probably going to happen…somehow never have had time to do it despite living in Wyoming

    New Zealand? Maybe assuming progress on my PhD is good and I get funding, either for a conference in November or a summer fellowship.

    Australia? Might swing this as part of a hypothetical NZ trip, assuming money and time allow

    Possibly moving to Michigan…assuming the move is in early fall or late summer will probably swing through the Northern Plains and hopefully add a few species to my lists

    Possible Postdoc in NY/DC area: again no clue if this is happening, but will put me near some potentially good spots for marine mammals as well as give me a chance to try for a few more eastern mammals?

    Japan? another postdoc possibility.

    Panama: long shot but I have wanted to visit the canal area for years. If I get some financial stability in the next year this is likely to occur either at the tail end of 2013 or sometime in 2014.

  • tembo10

    This year I want to concentrate on tracking down some of the (very many) African primates that I’ve yet to see. I will be working for a while in central Tanzania and intend to track down the Kipunji, Udzungwa red colobus and Udzungwa mangabey, as well as some of the plethora of galagos found in that area. I also have a meeting in Kigale and will use the opportunity to visit Nyungwe and hopefully find an owl-faced monkey which I’ve wanted to see for quite a while. A palm civet would be nice as well.


    PS Morgan, I hate to say it, but if you’ve done your entire PhD in Wyoming and have never visited Yellowstone, you probably deserve to be excommunicated. That’s a fabulous Park for mammals.

  • Paul Carter

    I have planned the following for 2013-H1:

    Jan 3-21: Thailand road trip with GF – done.

    Feb 11-15: Cape Town, South Africa- roadtrip being considered.

    Feb 25 -28: Khao Sok NP, Thailand – camp

    Mar 11-28: California – South Arizona – New Mexico – roadtrip with GF

    Apr 5-13: North California roadtrip with GF

    May 18-25: Lombok surftrip – maybe some wildlife if no surf.

    Jun 23 – Jul 2 (approx): Mainland Malaysia – southern parts e.g. Endau-Rompin. Anyone interested?

    Dates and areas for 2013-H2 are vague at this point and GF permission not yet applied for.

    Apart from the dates above I am mostly idling in Phuket for April-Oct surf season and doing short South Thailand trips (subject to any consulting work that comes up).

    Being based in Phuket, Thailand I am open to neaby areas India (end-year perhaps), Borneo, Laos (for Kha-Nyou). I am pretty flexible on dates if others are looking for trip partners in SE Asia.

    Paul C

    • kittykat23uk

      Hi Paul. I would be interested in a trip to Borneo perhaps towards the end of this year or more likely early next year so if you fancy hooking up for that it would be fab. India is my next trip, but is coming in more expensive than hoped due to lack of numbers. After that, finances willing, I was thinking of a return to Mozambique, Zavora and Tofo. In aug/sept. this would hopefully coincide with humpback whale migration time. If I have the funds available i would like to add on a safari element, prob Kruger or similar. If anyone would be interested in sharing costs and stuff do let me know.

  • brugiere dominique

    After a cancelled trip to South Africa, I am heading tomorow (February 5th) to Western Sahara. Then I will spend at least 8 days at Dzanga Sangha in Central African Republiq in March.
    From June 17th to July 3rd I go to Montana.
    Mid August to Mid September I will be in South Africa (flight already bought)
    Then after I don’t know exactly:
    -October-November: I am interested to go to Tibet, but look for some people to share. Or I will go in search of Snow Leopard. Same, I look for people interested to do it (I think about Ladakh where I have already been in summer time).
    -Then may-be again Ecuador and north Peru.

    Dominique B

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