The Weekly Recap

Hello and welcome back to the weekly recap 🙂 It is quite a long one this week as I’m a bit behind schedule (and writing this recap is allowing me to continue procrastinating my homework…)

The first trip report of the week was this one from India which saw 30 species including Asiatic Wild Cat, Bengal Fox and Barasingha, so check it out to see some great pictures. 

The next trip report is from a Royle Safaris trip to Sumatra, Bali, Komodo and Java with 22 mammal species like Javan Surili, Sumatran Orangutans and Komodo Dragons (not mammals but very cool!). 

Next up is a week in California with many pelagics Grey Whales and Pacific White-sided Dolphins but also Island Grey Foxes and several species of Kangaroo Rats!

These two trip reports from Charles Foley and my dad’s honeymo- I mean adventure to Côte d’Ivoire are very entertaining reads for me. As someone (unfortunately) having first hand experience of my dad’s embarrassingly terrible “French”, I’m surprised he didn’t accidentally get both Charles and himself shot after mixing up the words for invasion and vacation or something. They did see some great species though, like the Lesser Anomalure, White-bellied Pangolin and a mega-rarity: the Liberian Mongoose! And they reckon this was a direct consequence of missing the Zebra Duiker they’d been aiming for, so every cloud… or maybe the duikers were just too offended by their “French” beckoning. There is also a Youtube video capturing their glee right after the sighting – a great edition to the Charles and Jon series of “we just saw a…” (previously featuring a Pygmy Hippo!). Another interesting mammal sighting on the trip was of a Dutch couple who nonchalantly mentioned having seen two Okapis in the wild… Does anyone from the Netherlands know if there has recently been a missing persons announcement..?

This trip to Nepal saw 20 species of mammal, 208 of bird and 2 of crocodile! Some highlights are the Sloth Bear, Golden Jackal and Indian Gray Mongoose. 

This trip report from Australia has some of the great classics like Wombats, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Dingos but also species like the Red-legged Pademelon and a Water Rat. 

There have been two Snow Leopard trip reports this week: one from Qinghai, China and one from Ladakh, India. The first also saw two Pallas’ Cats and a few other more common species. The second saw a total of 22 Snow Leopards over 5 weeks and includes a very rare video of one howling as well as a picture of a Tibetan Fox looking very much like a wise old man trapped in a fox’s body. They are both great reports and give good information on how to see these species! 

This great report from Patagonia by a first-time poster saw some cool species despite not being a mammal-focused trip: Commerson’s Dolphin, Culpeo, Guanaco, a potential Brown Hare (ID help is welcome) and many more.

A week in the Western Ghats was very successful for mammals with Lion-tailed Macaques, Indian Crested Porcupine, an amazing sighting of some Leopard family bonding (a mother and cub chasing a deer) and beautiful photos. Not to offend the hardcore mammalwatchers, but right at the end is an amazing picture of a Dancing Frog which fittingly looks like it is in the middle of a pompous boogie, staring right into the camera with one long leg outstretched. There is also a video of it turning away from the camera in a very ostentatious way before dancing again. I can almost see it loudly introducing itself as Hugh before demanding a glass of port. These are one of the most endangered amphibians in the world and are only found in India so it is a great sighting!

Finally, this amazing trip report from Antarctica features on its cover a rare photo of a Leopard Seal clearly in hysterics after hearing my favourite knock knock joke 🙂 (Knock knock? Who’s there? Control freak… ok now you say ‘Control freak who?’) (see the actual trip report for more pictures of it rolling around laughing at my incredible wit). But there are many more great photos and mammals like Antarctic Fur Seals,  Antarctic B2 type Orcas, adorable pictures of Blondie Fur Seals and an incredible sighting of a Humpback Whale surrounded by Adelie penguins, all hunting krill. 

If you want to join a mammal trip yourself, there are several options for this year or the next. Royle Safaris will be going to Java, Indonesia in June this year to find Javan Rhinos, and also to Ghana next March in search of Pangolins and more. And if you prefer non-commercial trips, someone is looking for a couple of people to join them in Kashmir this August in search of Asiatic Black Bears, and in Thailand for a New Year’s hunt for Sun Bears – check out this post if you’re interested. Finally, someone going to India at the start of 2025 is looking for travel companions as well as tour guide recommendations. 

In other news, an interpreter at a land conservancy in the Santa Cruz Mountains is looking for photos of some specific baby mammals for a display, such as Dusky-footed Wood Rats and American Badgers. The full list is on the post, so please check it out and send in any photos if you have them! 

An antelope survey of Northeast Kenya is available here: as the least known region in Africa in what concerns its mammals, this survey was much needed and is very interesting (I’m sure…). 

Someone is looking for advice on the best thermal binoculars, so comment any tips you may have! Although they might find an answer in this new post about a researcher’s experience using thermal optics in Panama. 

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Thanks for reading:) 


Cover photo: Cheryl Antonucci – A far from gruntled Antarctic Fur Seal

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Katy Hall

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