S2 E15: Harriet Kemigisha
We chat with Harriet Kemigisha – founder of Harrier Tours – from her home in western Uganda.
Harriet talks about a life that has taken her from a young village girl exploring the forest with her grandfather on hunting trips, to the founder of a successful wildlife tour company. She recounts her rediscovery of the Green-breasted Pitta in Kibale National Park when she was a ranger in 2005. And she describes how she figured out a strategy to see an African Golden Cat, one of Africa’s most secretive and sought-after animals, with the help of her grandfather’s friend Kaheru, a man she once arrested.
S2 E14: Expedition to Chad
We talk with Brendan and Dan Nugent – Australian mammalwatching newcomers – about their recent expedition to Chad with Jon. They talk about the other-worldly scenery of the Ended Massif; the Dama Gazelles of Ouadi-Rimé – “the most beautiful things they have ever never heard of”; and a safari on steroids in Zakouma National Park, including being in the middle of tens of millions of Red-billed Quelea (yes, birds!). Plus Brendan explains how ear plugs can help you survive the horrors of a pit toilet.
S2 E13: Arnaud Desbiez
Charles and Jon talk to Whitley Award-winning conservationist Arnaud Desbiez, from his home in the Brazilian Pantanal. Since 2010, Arnaud and his team have been studying one of the planet’s most iconic and secretive animals: the Giant Armadillo. Very little was known about this magnificent mammal before their work began and the more the project uncovers the more we understand just how important a role this species plays in the ecosystems it inhabits. Arnaud talks about the challenges both Giant Armadillos – and Giant Armadillo researchers – face. We learn about Giant Armadillos dedication as parents, their longevity and why their burrows have earned the nickname “Hotel Armadillo”.
S12 E12: Roland Kays
Charles and Jon talk to distinguished mammalogist Dr Roland Kays, head of the Biodiversity lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and a Professor at North Carolina State University. Roland has published on sloth sleepand incognito O linguitos and written a North American mammal field guide – also an app – that many of you will have. Roland talks about his work describing the Olinguito, one of the most significant new mammal discoveries of the 21st Century (it was the first new carnivore for the Western Hemisphere in 35 years). He explains his love of both Fishers and Porcupines and the quest to capture footage of the former hunting the latter. And he explains, with great clarity, the secret recipe to Canis soupus!
S2 E11: John & Terese Hart
Charles and Jon talk to legendary mammalogists and conservationists John and Terese Hart about 50 years’ of work in the Congo rainforest. John and Terese have made an enormous contribution to studying and protecting African biodiversity and have had way more than their fair share of adventures en route. From discovering new monkey species to studying Okapis, they share spellbinding stories that are guaranteed to make mammalwatchers weak at the knees.
S2 E10: Trip Planning & Equatorial Guinea
We chat with Venkat Sankar about how we plan and prepare for the perfect trip. From designing an itinerary and choosing target species to taking the “right” pictures. We also swap tips on how we identify some of the world’s most obscure mammals either in the field or after we get home. And Jon talks about his recent trip to Bioko Island, a place where the primates were nervous and the pedestrian crosswalks plentiful.
S2 E9: Jo Setchell
Charles and Jon talk to Professor Jo Setchell from her home in the UK. Dr Setchell, a distinguished primatologist and anthropologist, has studied primates in Cameroon, Gabon, the DRC and Borneo and has particular research interests in sexual selection among Mandrills and primate conservation. Destined for a career in primatology from the age of two, when she was inseparable from her toy monkey, Jo’s fascinating research has proved important for science and conservation. And some work – such as discovering that the reddest male Mandrills are a sort of simian Brad Pitt – has cast a whole new light on Mandrill romance.
S2 Episode 8: Tales of the Unexpected
Charles and Jon talk to recently converted mammalwatchers about their early mammalwatching experiences. Admittedly, some of our guests might deny they have been converted but we know different.
We talk to Steven Arthur, Cheryl Antonucci‘s partner, about being stalked by Swamp Rabbits in Missouri. We hear about a trip to Guyana that could have gone very wrong for Ian Thompson, his partner Tracey Watchurst, and their kids Josie and Ben. And Amber Melhouse talks about the romance of wading through a guano-filled bat cave with “wildlife enthusiast” Jon.
S2 Episode 7: Mammalwatching Guides
Charles and Jon are joined by Season 1 podcast veterans Mac Hunter and Cheryl Antonucci who starred in the first two podcast episodes, along with professional birding – and now mammalwatching – guide Carlos Bocos who dialed in from his home in Spain.
We talk about guides: the benefits they bring to conservation, trips and to mammalwatching more generally, as well as the skills every good guide needs. Carlos also offers his thoughts on what makes for a good client and reveals that some clients can be quite difficult. Shocker! Any resemblance – to birders living or dead – is purely coincidental.
S2 Episode 6: Charles Foley
Jon finally gets the chance to interview his co-host Charles Foley. Charles shares adventures from a life spent working with African Elephants in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park with his wife Lara. His thirty years of research has generated many advances in our understanding of Elephants, including the long-term impact that poaching can have when it kills all of the older animals in a family. Elephants do indeed have long memories, and so remembering where water can be found might be critical to a family’s survival during drought. Charles also explains why it is a good idea to check the tyres on the truck if you plan to propose at sunset in the African bush. And – if you do forget – why it might then be a good idea to check only after your partner says ‘yes’.