Some news from around the world:
1. I’ve been back to North America for a couple months, and did a few all-nighters in New Jersey forests with a thermal scope. Except for just one flying squirrel, the only small mammals I saw were white-footed mice. I kept cursing the “black hole of biodiversity” where I have to waste the prime of my life, but recently I learned that 2019 has been a terrible year for small mammals in many parts of the US, particularly for voles in the East and in California. The reasons are unknown. Guess I just have to wait a few months, and hopefully I’ll see a deer mouse sooner or later if I put enough effort into it.
2. There is a growing consensus among Taiwanese zoologists that the recently claimed sighting of a clouded leopard was bogus. Moreover, there is suspicion that all historic specimens have been imported from the mainland. Clouded leopards certainly inhabited Taiwan in prehistoric times, but were apparently wiped out by humans around the end of Pleistocene, together with tigers, hyenas, brown bears, giant elephants, rhinos, etc., etc.
3. I have a free week in the first half of December, so if anyone wants a guided tour to any place in the world, I can do it for expenses covered plus a few hundred bucks. It’s a good time for mammals in Sichuan, much of Canada, Pacific Northwest, non-Plateau Mexico, and almost anywhere in the tropics. I’ll be flying from New York. Personally I’d like to give Cuban solenodon another try (now I know a few sites that don’t require a permit); we should also get at least 3 hutias and a few bats.