New Trip Reports: Estonia; Southern Italy; Java & Sumatra
Three new reports on mammalwatching.com
Java & Sumatra, 2013: Richard Webb, 2 weeks & 38 species including all the Javan specialty primates and Javan Small-toothed Palm Civet, plus – on Sumatra – Banded Palm Civet, Flat-headed and Marbled Cats.
Estonia, 2013: John Wright, 1 week & 11 species including Eurasian Flying Squirrel and Raccoon Dogs.
Southern Italy, 2013: Vladimir Dinets, 2 weeks & 44 species (plus notes of signtings in 1993) including Wild Cats, Pine Martens and several Shrew and Dormice species.
On both my trips in 2012 & 2013 Satwa did a great job with sorting out the logistics and having Hari and enthusiastic drivers also helped. The reality is that unfortunately in this world you get what you pay for and from Israel and Dominique Brugiere’s experiences last year doing it alone and trying to organise it through the guides at the park isn’t a satisfactory experience especially as most of the park guides have no idea about the mammals. I prefer not to use guides and it’s more expensive to use Satwa but not doing so is a false economy. It also helps to tip the drivers well. Six hour sessions were not unusual and they never moaned. Way Kambas is a difficult nut to crack, six hour spotlighting sessions might only produce one or two mammals other than deer but the end results justify the effort put in.
Gede was busy but it didn’t appear to impact on the mammals but I guess that it does get busier in holiday periods. However the Ebony and Grzzled Langurs were totally un-phased by people.
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Richard Webb did indeed do well! I was at Way Kambas in 2009 and stayed inside the park but if I went again I’d definitely do it differently. The regulations were ridiculous and everything was far too expensive, and if Satwa can help avoid some of the issues around times etc then that’s a good thing. I didn’t see much in the way of mammals unfortunately due to the issues with guides there.
Gunung Gede I unfortunately managed to hit right in the Idil Fitri period and the park was swamped with locals! Again, failed to find much due to the disturbance.
I do really want to go to Gunung Halimum so I may need to make a trip there this/next year. Then I can go back to Gunung Gede as well.