China mammals

Hi all

Like a few others on here I travelled to China recently – the bulk of the tour was on an Oriental Bird Club fundraiser to Qinghai. Depsite being primarily a birding trip we saw a fantastic array of mammals due to the knowledge of our superb guide, Jesper Hornskov, who will hopefully add a trip report at some point. Anyone travelling to this region would do well to arrange it with him! There were also a few troublesome rodents (see my reply to Sjef Oller’s post), one of which is pictured below – if anyone has an ideas please let me know.

The main reason for this post though is to draw attention to some other possibilities people may not be aware of. After Qinghai, I travelled with Jesper to Beidaihe on the Hebei coast – famous for migratory birds, but not so much for mammals. This Wildwings report gives an idea of what can be seen:

To these sightings I can add that Tolai Hare can be seen on the saltmarsh in Beidaihe, and Jesper has seen Amur Hedgehog there in the past, though I failed. The Great Wall at Jiaoshan (c50mins from Beidaihe by car) is good for the squirrels – you can get a chairlift to decent habitat on the ridge  .

However, on Jesper’s advice, I found two Amur Hedgehogs quite easily around the grounds of the CITIC Hotel at Beijing airport between 9-10pm one evening – a good place to stay if passing through Beijing.

The only other mammal sighting in Hebei was a pipistrellus sp around my hotel near Hengshui Lake  – I guess Japanese Pipistrelle is most likely.


rodent 2rodent 1rodent 3


  • Jon Hall

    A belated thanks for this Mike – useful info especially the Amur Hedgehogs in Beijing! I’d be guessing wildly on that rodent I’m afraid but it does look hamsterish. How long was the tail? Jon

  • Mike Hoit

    Hi Jon

    My impression was it was a bit large for the candidate hamsters, hence going for Przewalski’s Steppe Vole as a tentative ‘best fit’. Tail length was (i guess) <10% of the head and body length. Through being copied in by Jesper on an email conversation I was lucky enough to have a little bit of correspondence with Andrew Smith (one of the field guide authors) who agreed that it COULD be that species, but that rodent ID in the region is even tougher than elsewhere; there's a real paucity of even specimens it would seem! Although I did notice that JH has this species on his recent Greentours list, so maybe more photos in future will help out.

    Congrats on the Snow Leopard – sounds like the site has changed a lot since Feb-March 2013 – even then I was amazed to arrive and see how many other people were there!
    I’ve just got back from Malaysia and am in the process of putting together a few notes which I'll post soon.

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