Archive for the ‘Natural History Trips’ Category

The Frio Bat Cave In South Texas

October 17, 2011

18 million Mexican Free-tailed bats stream out in flight each night from the Frio cave in southern Texas. Great Horned Owls await them and so do Red-tailed and Swainson’s Hawks.

The hawks fly to the stream of bats and once at the stream flip and put their talons in the stream and grab a bat and fly back to a roost and eat the bat…I watched the raptors do this into the dark.
Matt

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Some Of The Best Wildlife Is Seen From The Porch

October 15, 2011

I would have to say that porches make some of the best wildlife watching. Here are some examples…

Some of the best songbird watching I have had was while waiting for lunch on the porch of La Selva, a biological station for Duke University in Costa Rica.

After lunch, from the same spot, I watched a river of raptors fly by.

I had simular experiances for wildlife in Eastern Africa, Alaska and the Northwest Territories…When I traveled to see wildlife I never passed a porch up and I can honestly say it was responsable for some of my best wildlife watching.
Matt

A Beautiful Place Called Baring Creek

May 28, 2011

Places like Alaska, Northern Canada, Montana and Wyoming have no shortage of beautiful places to visit.

One of those places, I have written about before is Baring Creek, on the East side of Glacier National Park near a place called, Post Card Point, near upper Saint Marys Lake.

It is full of wildflowers and it is wedged into an up and down world between Goat Mountain and Going To The Sun Mountain.

What a beatiful place but make a lot of noise as you go up the trail because both bear species reside their and if you are lucky you might see other predators in their.

Go, but be aware.

One way to be aware is to carry bear spray and I highly recommnd to do so.

The other day a friend of mine scoffed at the notion of using bear spray…In a study of spray use it was found to be 87% successful. My friend said, “why carry bear spray when you can carry a 44 magnum”…thoughts ocurred to me that a bear comes fast and moves a lot…most persons I know do not shoot accurately…let alone a 44 magnum.

In most parks this weapon cannot be be used…but bear spray can. Bear spray is not lethal…44 magnums are…87% is not 100% but nature is that way…If you see bear sighn get the hell out of their
Matt

Greetings And A Plug

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day…go see, African Cats at a theatre near you…take a girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband or the children or just yourself. You will not be sorry.
Matt

African Cats…Coming To A Theatre Near You

April 20, 2011

I never thought I would see the day I plugged a Disney Nature Film, but here is that day. Do not forget on Earth Day to see Disney’s, African Cats. I have been to the website for this film and I have nothing but superlatives to write.

The last nature film of Disney I saw was in Bethesda, Maryland with my two daughters. The film was about polar bears and walruses and the filming was spectacular…I would go again if I could…If African Cats comes close to the polar bear film I say bring it on and get out and see it viewing public…I hope the film comes to Bozeman, Montana…we will see…The film will be released on Friday, April 22, Earth Day…a nationwide release…go see this film.
Matt

An Equally Bad Idea; Not The Pebble Creek Mine…How You Can Help.

April 18, 2011

Next to Alaska’s proposed Pebble Creek Mine is another luming disator…a proposed highway accross the vast Serengeti Planes.

When I first saw this I thought April Fools Knowone could be this stupid…but the joke was on me and the plan is for a super highway across the Savanahs of the Serengeti.

Well I am not one to plug Disney Nature anything but the Disney Folks are showing a film featuring lions and cheetahs that was shot in the Masai-Mara-Kenya portion of the Serngeti and the bottom line of the film is that it portends to help one understand the importance of savanah of which the Serengeti is the finest example left in the world.

The film will be released on Earth Day and we are talking Disney’s version of nature.

I have seen the trailor to this film and I can say it looks like a must see to me…so get your popcorn and check out this movie after you participate in one of the days many cleanups…see you there.
Matt

Outrageous!!!!!!

April 5, 2011

I have blogged about two outrageous proposed events and I still have a hard time believing that these nutty prospects may be real.

These prospects are a highway across the Serengeti plains and a mine in the headwaters of the Bristol Bay, Alaska called the Pebble Creek Mine.

Its already crazy that we might get oil drilling in the arctic. Its just as crazy that BP wants to go back to deepwater drilling in the Gulf Of Mexico.

Is it just me or does the word outrageous come to your mind, as it does mine.
Matt

Not Birds In Costa Rica

March 22, 2011

I went to Costa Rica in 2006 primarily to watch birds but I did see some very fine wildlife forms that were not birds

I saw several species of bats but it was too dark to determine what I was looking at but I have some suspicions.

I saw several species of insect but did not key the species (E.O. Wilson would not be happy with me)

I saw a Bairds Tapir in Corcovado National Park and a Coati Mundi and White lipped Peccary in the same spot where I saw the tapir.

I saw Howler, White Faced, Spider and Squirrel Monkey, primarily at a place called La Selva, a Duke University Biological Station.

2 and 3 Toed Tree Sloths were at La Selva hanging in the trees their.

Lots of tame (or so it seemed) Collared Peccarry’s.

1,000 pound American Crocodile. Several White Caimen.

The tracks of several mammals including the rare Jaguar (near where I saw the tapir-same water hole).

I saw a lot of bids and recorded all that I saw…
Matt

Serengeti Watch News

March 5, 2011

Sereneti Watch is a project
of the Earth Island Institute, a nonprofit with the highest rating
by Charity Navigator.

——————————————————————————–
Serengeti Day
March 19

We’ve set aside a day for worldwide appreciation and support of the Serengeti. Check out the web page for details and how you can help.

——————————————————————————–

::
March 5, 2011

Dear Serengeti Supporter.

Thanks to the German government, there is some positive news to report.

See below.

We’re offering a special Serengeti safari next September for those who want to learn more about issues affecting its future. Read more below.

German government offers a solution

The African Regional Manager for the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Mr. Gelrald Bigurube, confirmed that the German government will finance construction of tarmac roads that will link dozens of rural villages adjacent to the Serengeti National Park.

He also said that the World Bank and the German government are also ready to finance southern route that will link the Arusha region with the Lake Victoria regions without crossing the Serengeti.

According to an interview with the Daily News, Mr. Bigurube said, “Linking rural villages in Serengeti and Loliondo districts with the their district headquarters is the best way of addressing economic needs of the communities living near the park.”

The news article says Mr. Bigurube “disclosed that the German Federal Ministry for Development was ready to finance feasibility study of the rural roads in the districts if the idea will have blessings from the government of Tanzania.”

He said the “international community is also concerned with the needs of the people in an environmental friendly way but the road should not be close to the park because it will have serious impact that cannot be mitigated.”

The next step is up to President Kikwete who recently turned down an offer from the World Bank to fund the alternate route.

Below, road system around the Serengeti, with proposed Serengeti Watch southern route.

Serengeti Safari

Next September

This safari is both an appreciation of what we have now, what we cannot afford to lose, and a close look at how we can help preserve this ecosystem into the future. We’ll be talking with local experts, examining the work of conservation organizations, and visiting local Maasai communities to learn how they view the issues. The goal is to investigate for ourselves the goals and projects Serengeti Watch should undertake in the coming years. As part of this journey, you will have the opportunity to shape the future of our organization and return with a clear picture of the Serengeti itself.

The safari will be led by Boyd Norton, Co-Director of Serengeti Watch. Over the past 25 years he has made more than 40 trips to Africa, mostly leading photo safaris, but also on magazine and book assignments (four of his fourteen books are on African subjects and his newest book, pictured above, will be published later this year.

If you want more information, please contact Jacque Steedle at Strabo Tours.

Tanzanian government’s Environmental and Social Impact Study

February 5, 2011

I was going to write about a book I am reading entittled, Anthill, by E.O. Wilson; fascinating novel with a large number of human analogies. I got sidetracked by this cause; something I really care about at a time where caring does not matter much, anymore. At first I think ants are more brutal than humans then I think about Attilla the Hun, the Holocaust, Stalin’s World War ll brutalizm on his own people, Azetecs, warfare video games and so forth. Humans are as brutal as ants.
Matt

The document is some 600 pages in length, divided into six downloadable sections. There is an executive summary in the first section.

If you have expertise in conservation biology, road impacts, or similar areas, it would be valuable to have your comments. You can post them at the bottom of the web page where the links are found in the discussion area. Or email them to:

info@savetheserengeti.org

Anyone can go to our Facebook page (Stop the Serengeti Highway) and comment as well.

One of the revelations of the study is the sheer volume of traffic expected – 800 vehicles a day by 2015 (one every two minutes) and 3,000 a day by 2035 (one every 30 seconds)! These figures are damning enough and should dispel any illusion that the highway will not be paved.

Another revelation – that the highway will give a “boost to tourism,” a huge miscalculation that neither the consultants nor the government seem to appreciate at the moment.