It is already becoming a cliche I know, but I really do hope everyone is safe and well and trying to make the best out of these difficult weeks.
There have been quite a few new subscribers to the mammalwatching forum over the past few months and so I thought it would be a good time for a quick overview of the whole website and its different resources.
I guess most of you are aware of the various national/state pages that contain links to trip reports and other information. You can navigate to these via the map on the homepage or the search bar.
You are also most probably aware of the forum/community page. You can submit trip reports here: though some people send me PDF reports to post, I do prefer people to post their own reports (either uploading as a PDF or by writing a report direct in the website). This means you don’t need to wait for me to post your report and, more importantly, everyone is clear on who is doing the posting, plus you get notified of comments.
But don’t stop here. Please take a look at some of the other drop down menus at the top of the homepage.
The “About” menu
Links to my lifelist (both global and continental lists). OK, probably not very interesting for anyone other than me, but it can be useful if you are interested in finding out whether I have seen a certain species rather than search the whole site. I would be very happy to put other people’s lifelists up here too if anyone feels like sharing.
The “Community” menu
Links to the community forum and also to the join a trip page, which lists private trips in the making that are looking for travelling companions. Tour operators are welcome to advertise for a small fee. If you want to have your trip included then just advertise your trip on the forum and I will add it to the list.
The “Resources” menu
Contains what I hope are a bunch of useful pages.
Guides, Lodges & Tour Operators – a directory of people, lodges and companies who can help set up your next mammal watching trip in various places. This is organized geographically and might also be interesting to browse if you are looking for inspiration for your next trip.
Global Mammal Checklist – a list I’ve developed based – more or less – on the taxonomy used by the IUCN Red List. Its more lumpy than splitty. Updated every 6 – 12 months.
Mammal Watching Gear – a collection of posts reviewing books, flashlights, thermal scopes and other equipment.
Mammal Vocalisation Library – a small collection of links to mammal calls.
Useful Links – a set of references to websites, books and other resources that are useful for mammal watching worldwide. Many more regional and national links are included in the relevant country and ecozone (regional) pages.
Whale and dolphin watching worldwide, the content of which you can probably guess.
Mammal Watching Tips has some basic advice on how to look for mammals and where to look for them (but you know all that already).
Hope all this makes sense. I would love to hear your thoughts on two questions.
- How can we improve the structure/layout so this is all easier to find or navigate to?
- What is missing? What other things could we include here?
All other suggestions very welcome, including additional information for any of the existing pages.