Happy New Mammals, 2018

Happy New Year everyone. Hope 2018 is starting well and that many of you already have some exciting plans.

I’m looking forward to chasing smaller mammals in Mexico and the Western Ghats and searching for Superagui Lion Tamarins in the next couple of months, with trips to Gabon and Chile later in the year.

What are your plans and most wanted mammals for the year?

I suppose I ought to say I want nothing more than to see my children smiling. Except .. except… I really really want to see Red River Hogs, Mandrills and Andean Mountain Cats, among a whole bunch of other 2018 targets.  Sorry kids.

And what about your predictions for the year. Which megaspecies will we get reliable sites for this year? … Mainland Clouded Leopard, Bush Dog, Giant Pangolins perhaps?  Dare to dream.

Don’t forget if you are looking for company on a trip you can share your travel plans on this forum and I can also include them here.

All the best for your 2018 mammaling





  • Venkat Sankar

    Happy new year! 2017 was a lot of fun, with an excellent trip to the Amazon (where I met many other mammal watchers in person for the first time) and lots of exploration at home in California. Just got back from a great trip to Panama too.

    Next year, I’m planning on visiting the Yucatan in March–my main targets include Yucatan Black Howler, Yucatan Vesper Rat, Woolly False Vampire, Wrinkle-faced, and Cozumel Golden Bats, Margay, and Yucatan Brown Brocket. Though I may go to Oaxaca or Jalisco instead depending on reports from the field…

    The highlight of the year should be Gabon in August with a few others on this forum; I’d really like to see Mandrill, Sun-tailed Guenon, Chimpanzee, Long-eared Flying Mouse, Red River Hog, and Yellow-backed Duiker. Hopefully lots more.

    Maybe also a few weekend mammal chases at home in the US too–Eastern Wolf, Fisher, North Atlantic Right Whale, Aplodontia, Sonoma Tree Vole, Western Spotted Skunk, and Alpine Chipmunk in particular…

    As for predictions of mega mammal sites, my guesses are Mainland Clouded Leopard, Zebra Duiker, Ground Pangolin, and African Wild Ass.

  • Martin Royle

    Happy new year all!
    Royle Safaris has some new trips planned for 2018 as well as firm favourites. As well as Siberian tigers we will be tracking down Amur leopards this year as well as Javan endemics including a special Javan rhino expedition (one spot still available on that) and a cat specialist trip to Borneo including days dedicated to the bay cat!
    These trips as well as others I am escorting to Nepal, China (special focus on a particular species), Madagascar, Ecuador, Brazil (researchers looking into the validity of the kabomani tapir) and Tanzania; 2018 promises to be a mammalific year!

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Happy New Year everyone!
    I had a nice 2017 with 58 lifer mammals; the best were snorkeling with sperm whales in St. Lucia in January, Zenkerella and loads of other stuff in CAR and African golden cat in Cameroon in February, picking up the last North American species in Alaska in June, watching a pantropical spotted dolphin give birth off Martinique and beaked whales from the air off Nova Scotia in July, brown hyenas in Namibia in August, a bunch of Japanese carnivores in autumn and a few Ryukyu endemics in December.
    I’m going to Vietnam in a few days to look for you-know-what (every hunter knows that you shouldn’t name the target animal before the hunt). Generally I’m going to focus on East Asia for the next two years, including (I hope) Taiwan next April, Sichuan in autumn, Sarawak in August, Korea at some point, Tibet in December, and Japan year-round. I’m also planning another trip to Bering Sea islands and one to Yakutia, both in June. I’ll be in Melbourne area in February for a couple weeks, but that’s mostly a work/family trip.
    I’m pretty sure I’ll find reliable sites for all Japanese mammals in the next two years, but I don’t know which ones of them can be considered “megaspecies”, if any.

  • Michael

    Happy new year to all!
    The main targets for 2017 were to see tigers and beaked whales. We missed the tiger in Corbett by 20 seconds, but had several good sightings of Sowerby’s Beaked Whale in the Azores in summer. All in all I just saw 7 new species, which is about the worst year in a decade (since the kids were really small).
    But 2018 looks better: we’ll spend the family holidays driving from Windhoek via Walvishbay and Etosha to Victoria Falls. Having already visited Namibia before, most of the largeer mammals will not be new, but we’ll take a heat scope, rodent traps and bat nets, so there is scope for a lot of smaller critters. And then a few mid-sized ones that we have missed so far: Aarvark, Wild Dog, Heaviside’s Dolphin…
    In October, I’ll go to NE Brazil for a conference, followed by some driving around looking mainly for birds. Not many mammals around, but I might see a few of the endemic monkeys and rodents. Finally, I may go to Amazonian Ecuador in June, but funding for that is still pending…
    I wish all of you good luck and a lot of fun, even if it is “just” watching hedgehogs in your backyard (we had a family of 5 in summer; very cute).

  • Curtis Hart

    Happy New Years!

    Rather slow year for new mammals with only 18 new species, 2 in Germany, 7 in South Africa, 2 in the US, and 7 in Baja California. Most were rodents, but I did see Spot-necked Otters and Zorilla. I had many great resightings, including an incredible extended viewing of a large troop of Drills from 10 feet away(not acclimated, I was in water and they didn’t recognize me as a threat), Central African Lindsang, African Wild Dogs, Bobcats, Ringtails, etc.

    I’m headed to Nicaragua tomorrow, and have 6 nights of netting/trapping booked. I will be working in AZ this spring, so I am hoping for a few new things there. I’m planning on taking the fall off and going on a big trip, most likely Australia and parts of SE Asia, or maybe Madagascar. My goal for the last few years has been to make it to 700 by the time I am 40 which happens in mid September. I have 93 species to go. I may get close.

  • mikehoit

    Happy new year to all!

    Most of last was fairly slow for mammals – either too little work and not enough money to plan trips after Australia in 2016, then too much work and not enough time! It was nice to revisit Iberian Lynx and catch up with Spanish Ibex and couple of bats I’d missed there previously, and superb views of Brown Bear in Slovenia was a highlight (cheers again to Jon for the tip off!). Things kicked off more in November with a mostly very successful trip to Thailand, the trip report will be up as soon as possible as I know a few people are planning to visit soon.

    This spring will be probably be too work-heavy to fit in much, but I’m hopeful of finally locating a couple of UK species which have been giving me grief. In July-August it’s time for me to revisit Borneo; when I went on my first independent trip in 2005, I saw masses of stuff almost be accident, but missed quite a few species (no cats, for example). I more focussed on birds then, but made notes on everything furry I saw and was able to ID the majority once I’d discovered the field guide… things might be a bit different this time. Vladimir, I’d be very interested to hear about your Sarawak plans – at a minimum, I’m hoping to spend a bit of time at the ‘new’ birding spots in the hills and have a nocturnal explore.

    Hope you all have fun and succesful trips, look forward to hearing about them.

    • Vladimir Dinets

      I’ll be going to Sarawak mostly for work. Now that I’ve got a thermal imager, it would be a mortal sin not to do a study of local flying squirrels, since virtually nothing is known about many of them, so I am arranging to do that at the Canopy Plot in Lambir Hills NP. I’ll also try to see Sunda clouded leopard and marbled cat: the race to be the first to see all cat species is getting serious, and although I am generally a very non-competitive person, I’m too close to the finish to let someone else win 🙂

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