Saturday, September 4, 2010

A New Mammal for our Jalova Species List

Our interns are finishing up their BTEC’s in leading biological surveys this week with forest night walks. They’ve spotted some amazing things so far, including a Tropical Night Lizard (Lepidophyma flavimaculatum, first photo) and a Red Ringed Snail Eating Snake (Sibon annulatus, second photo).
But the most remarkable sighting has been a Kinkajou (Potos flavus) only meters from base. Five-week intern Danya Gordin has the story:‘We heard something shuffling in the trees and saw a flash of red eyes. Andres started jumping up and down, shouting “Kinkajou, Kinkajou!” We ran over and shined our lights and saw a brownish critter with a long fluffy tail with a black tip, that sort of resembled a coati. It gave us the chance to get some photos (see below) before it got bored and vanished into the canopy. It was a pretty exhilarating experience because it’s an uncommon mammal and it’s reclusive and unique ‘
Not everyone got to see it as well as Danya. Emma Sheard still wasn’t sure what a Kinkajou looked like after it disappeared. “I just saw these big glowing eyes in the dark,” she said “It was a bit like the Cheshire Cat in Alice and Wonderland.”