1,000 (thank you)
This is a general thank you to all the generous and kind mammal watchers on this site—your trip reports and good company have allowed me to reach 1,000 on my world list. Like many of us, I started young, not even knowing that I was “doing” mammal watching. On holiday at Sequoia National Park at age 12, I was allowed to go out before the family ate breakfast and look for deer and snakes and whatever else might be around. I also began going alone to the Los Angeles Zoo by bus and bicycle—god bless those more “open” times, when a child’s only restrictions were (a) don’t get arrested and (b) be home by dinner. Hmm, now that I think about it, as an adult my household rules are more or less the same: don’t get arrested, don’t get taken hostage, and be home for Christmas dinner. Before I discovered this site, progress was slow. When I got to 300 in Brazil, 500 seemed an impossible distance away. In fact, I promised my family if I ever got to 500, I would quit listing. It seemed a safe thing to say, given that 500 was so far off. Of course you all can guess what happened: 500 came and went (Wild Dog, Botswana) and the momentum just kept pushing me forward. Field guides got better, trip reports got more detailed, and Jose Gabriel showed me how to see a LOT of bats. Suddenly totals seemed possible that I never would have dreamed of. To get a big list, it seems to me that one needs three things: money, luck, and good field craft, in approximately that order. (Maybe a fourth item is a heat scope, though it falls under category 1 I suppose.) After being delayed by a broken leg and some book projects and a cancelled sabbatical, plus that irritating pause of the viral years, finally it happened: the 1,000th tick was Crossley’s Dwarf Lemur in Madagascar. I was blessed to share that moment with Mike Richardson, Sarah Winch, and Jose Gabriel Martinez-Fonseca. To them and Jon Hall and everybody on this site, THANK YOU. / Charles Hood
Great post, Charles, and congratulations on your 1,000th. I like your hierarchy of needs for a successful mammal-watcher. I am very fortunate to be able to afford the far-flung travels our obsession demands, I have been working on my field craft since, like you, about age 12 (while simultaneously devouring Gerald Durrell’s entire oeuvre), and I have just bought a heat scope. But luck. What a fickle lady….
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Lars Michael Nielsen
Congratulations to reaching 1000! And even with a very cute species as 1000 🙂