The Weekly Recap

Hello and welcome back to the weekly recap! This will once again be a recap of the past two weeks, as we have been travelling and haven’t had much time. I am pleased to say I saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal and swam with Rough-toothed Dolphins. Unfortunately so did my dad so I can’t torment him, but maybe this is a good thing for the future of my Christmas presents (and general longevity).

The first trip report of the past two weeks was from a Royle Safaris trip to Laos. I have rather tarnished memories of this country personally, but maybe that has something to do with seeing my dad almost drop to his death on a dodgy zipline… Although on further reflection it’s probably more to do with the leeches. The trip report includes 12 mammal species and the two main goals were seen (Lao Langur and Laotian Rock Rat). 

Next is this cool report from the DRC – 38 species including all primates in the region, Giant Pangolin, Giant Otter Shrew… It is less of a trip report and more of a long term study from a researcher, so an interesting read. 

Next are two reports from Brazil – this one from the East coast focused on woolly spider monkeys (many other primates were also seen) and this one of a Wise Birding trip to Emas NP and Southern Pantanal (184 birds and 28 mammal species including 8 different Maned Wolf encounters!). 

The next part to the It’s a Wild Life series is here, this time from Argentina! Some highlights are Robust Tuco-tuco, Patagonian Mara and Molina’s hog-nosed skunk. It’s full of great details and stunning photos as usual! 

Next up, continuing with the South American theme, is Colombia in search of the Mountain Tapir (successful!), with much more found along the way. 

And finally, to polish off South America is Chile with an incredible Puma encounter involving what Freud might call proof but we will call conjugal drama. It’s a fascinating interaction though, and many other cool mammals were seen on the trip!

A new episode of The Mammalwatching Podcast has been released! I must admit I’ve been slacking in my daughterly duties as I haven’t had the chance to listen to it yet, but seeing as I am with my dad all day everyday at the moment I think my ears deserve the break. An interview with Dr Patricia Medici, she talks about her work with tapirs in Brazil – sounds very interesting! 

This picture from Bob Pitman of Giant Anteaters using their front legs to mimic a second mammal is a real optical illusion, and a fascinating discovery. He is also compiling Beaked Whale pictures to use in the 3rd edition of Marine Mammals of the World, so feel free to send any good ones you may have. 

If you’d like to join a mammal trip, a Lonely Heart going to Sangha national park (CAR) in early 2025 is looking for a travel buddy to accompany them. Someone else is looking for a guide to help them see sand cats in the Western Sahara (Aousserd) so comment if you know anyone! And if you know of any good spots for wildlife filming in India or Nepal (especially to see a tiger), comment here🙂

Some mammalwatching books have been published! The first is An Illustrated Guide to Bornean Orangutan Food Plants by John Payne & Zainal Zahari Ainuddin. It is about conservation of Orangutans in the face of habitat destruction for palm oil, and sounds very interesting and thoughtful. You can download it for free on BBORA’s website.

Next is this guide to finding Bornean Rare Mammals. Clear and detailed, it even includes a marine mammal called a Dugong that looks more like a plucked, well-fed and finned Wombat than anything to me. I had never even heard of these but cannot get over the pictures of it. It’s worth reading the guide just for that, even if it does resemble some spoof creature my brother would have convinced me was real all my life (This is why I have trust issues. It is also how I know he is truly my father’s son… Unluckily for us both).  

There is also this book review by Martin Parry of The Hairy Rhinoceros: History, ecology and some lessons for management of the last Asian megafauna by John Payne. What better way to spend Christmas than reading about mammals (or writing this recap, apparently). 

The next Mammalwatching Meeting will be held on January 27th, so be sure to mark your calendars! I for one have already marked mine with “Extremely Busy – Cannot Attend Meetings”, although I don’t yet know with what… This one is a meeting of the upmost importance though, as the shortlist for the NUTTER awards will be selected. I’m very disappointed and quite frankly offended to see that Most Ravishing Daughter or even Most Tolerant Victim are not one of the categories, but alas. There will also be discussion of community conservation projects so it will be a great meeting for all mammalwatchers!

I hope everyone has been having good holidays and becoming stuffed frogs (I know we have). Happy Boxing Day from Australia and a Happy New Year!

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Thanks for reading:) 


Cover photo: Patricia Medici

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Katy Hall

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