New Big Mammal Day record
Singita-Grumeti Big Mammal Day_FOLEY
Here’s an account of a Big Mammal Day that we did in the Serengeti ecosystem last year, where we set a new species record. I thought that this total would be hard to beat, but last weekend, quite unexpectedly, the original team – plus one new member – broke this record quite convincingly in a different ecosystem in Tanzania. I’ll post that report on here once I’ve got around to writing it.
Big Mammal Days are good fun and I hope this encourages more mammal watchers to go and try them, no matter where you are based. You might be surprised at how many species you can tally with some preparation and local knowledge.
Wow, Charles, that’s really impressive. It’s also really good to know about Singita Grumeti, as I’ll add it to my list for my next trip to Tanzania. Always good to know about sites where we have the freedom to drive at night and focus on smaller mammals. Do the guides still see Patas Monkeys in that area?
Also, I’m guessing you beat this record in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem?
Peter Pyle asked me to point out that “if we’d combined the morning of the 2016 day with the
afternoon of the 2017 day we’d have hit 50, so it’s within reach.” He also wanted to point out that an article he wrote is posted here: https://baynature.org/article/pioneering-mammal-big-day
Hello Charles Foley,
Several years ago I got your Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania. I have been to Tanzania seven times – 79, 92, 97, 02,13,14 and 2017. I have been to Ngorongoro Crater on my trips. On May 25, 2017 I was leading a group of 11 people going to Northern Tanzania. On May 25th we were going to the Serengeti and early in the morning we left from Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. I was in a vehicle from Tandala Safari with my driver guide Jerry. We were driving on the eastern side of the Crater forest and it was foggy at times. I was in the front of the vehicle with Jerry and we saw a small duiker running in front of us. For this duiker both Jerry and I thought this was a blue duiker. According to your book blue duikers are not found here. I have previously seen blue duikers doing research in Bioko Equatorial Guinea and both Jerry & I thought this was a blue duiker. What do you think of this one?
Best Regards – Robert (Bob) Berghaier
I would suggest that what you saw was almost certainly a suni. They are the same size, shape and often the same colour as a blue duiker, and are easily confused. They are also extremely common in the area. We carried out a major camera trap study of the Ngorongoro forests a number of years ago and suni were by far the most abundant species accounting for over 25% of all mammals that we photographed.
Robert (Bob) Berghaier
Charles, thanks for your email. I relooked at your book on suni antelope and released that you had previously listed them from Ngorongoro Conservation area. I had previously seen suni in Mt. Kenya and Mnemba Island off of Zanzibar. Charles you are correct, this is the species that Jerry and I saw in May 25th 2017. Best regards – Bob
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Well done Charles (and team)! And a great read.