Saturday, March 13, 2010


That’s why they call it the jungle. This week has been probably the best of phase for mammalian records on and around base.

It started on Monday when expedition members not out on survey were visited by a wandering armadillo making its way through base.

“It scurried through base and then headed out past our lovely compost towards the plantation. It was very small, but everyone on base rushed out to take a look,” said intern Charlotte. “It didn’t seem bothered by us at all, and was preoccupied with smelling something along the ground.”

Tuesday’s mammal transect team were resigning themselves to an incident-free survey when they came across a mysterious furball in a tree on the transect. The furball, being mildly perturbed, left its roost and ascended a metre or so of tree, thus revealing itself to be a juvenile Mexican Hairy Porcupine.

In the spirit of scientific data collection the team duly declared this nocturnal critter the cutest thing ever recorded on survey (see photo and disagree - if you dare). Later that day, the afternoon incidentals survey team were headed for the estuary when they clocked up another first for live sightings this phase: a Northern Tamandua high in a tree on the trail.

Almost simultaneously, another survey team on the beach found themselves encountering pair of Coatis. Large mammal monitoring? - who needs to leave base?!

We’re all fairly used to the yellow eyelash viper and the boa constrictor who both have regular hang-outs just outside base, but our furry friends are usually a little less obliging. So all in all, quite a satisfactory week, and another reminder of why this little spot we call home is so extraordinary.