May 01, 2024

Madagascar Tour, Aug. 28 - Sept. 28, 2023

We returned to Madagascar to search for weird and wonderful creatures that make this island nation home. We visited Lemurs’ Park near the capital city of Antananarivo for an introduction to a few of the lemur species found here. The first stop on our tour was Kirindy Mitea National park along the Mozambique Channel in southwest Madagascar. Within the park is the largest deciduous forest and home to 8 species of lemur and the island’s largest predator, the Fossa.

A 10-hour drive from Kirindy National Park brought us to the spectacular Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar. A rather strenuous climb to the top of the tsingy affords an impressive view of the limestone pinnacles created by millions of years of erosion. Our travels in Madagascar have taken us to the rainforests of the east where we visited Andasibe National Park, VOIMMA and Maromizaha Reserves. We found new 10 new species of lemur including the Indri, the largest who’s wailing call resonates through the forest.

After 28 years we have returned to Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar. Our first visit was very brief but this time we were able to see much of the amazing wildlife this park protects. We were privileged to meet Dr. Patricia Wright an American primatologist, anthropologist and conservationist who came here in 1986 looking to rediscover the Greater Bamboo Lemur. Not only did she find the Greater Bamboo Lemur, she discovered a new species, the Golden Bamboo Lemur! We were very lucky to see both species.

The final leg of our Madagascar journey has brought us to the far north of the island. First stop was Marojejy National Park. It takes a bit of effort to reach the steep slopes of the massive that harbors the beautiful Silky Sifaka and other amazing wildlife. From the rainforests of Marojejy we traveled to the dry forests of Daraina to see the most bizarre lemur of all, the Aye-aye! Daraina is also a great place to see the regal Crowned Lemur and the Golden-crowned Sifaka.

The final stops on our tour included Analamerana Special Reserve and Montagne d'Ambre National Park in the far north. Analamerana Special Reserve is the last refuge of the critically endangered Perrier’s sifaka, of which only 250 or so individuals remain in the wild. Established in 1958, Montagne d'Ambre is Madagascar’s oldest National Park. It protects 18,200 ha of montane rainforest with trees over 100 ft tall covered in bromeliads, orchids and Bird’s-nest Ferns. A big thank you to our trip leader and guide, Patrick Richard who put together a wildlife-packed itinerary! Thanks also to our many local guides for showing us the natural wonders of Madagascar!

Posted on May 01, 2024 08:12 PM by pfaucher pfaucher | 170 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 08, 2018

Mongolia/China Tour, September 10 - October 28, 2018

We visited Mongolia/China from September 10 - October 28, 2018. Our trip started with a private 3-day excursion to Khalzan, a village about a 10-hour drive east of the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Here a camp had been set up by a local researcher to study Pallas’s Cats. We were fortunate to see two at close range during our stay. Following we joined a group tour, “Snow Leopards of Mongolia”, booked through Greentours, a nature travel company based in the UK. The tour visited a camp near the city of Khovd in western Mongolia to search for Snow Leopards. After a 6-night stay we returned to Ulaanbaatar and on to Hustai National Park to look for Przewalski’s Horse.

We left Mongolia on September 25 and flew to Chengdu in Sichuan Province in China for the next leg of our journey. We booked a private tour with a local guide to visit the Rueorgai Grasslands on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau to look for Pallas’s Cat, Chinese Mountain Cat and other mammals.

We returned to Chengdu to join a second Greentours tour, “Mammals of the Roof of the World”. We flew to Xining on October 3 to start our tour to look for Tibetan Gazelle, Kiang, Tibetan Wolf, Pallas’s Cat, Wild Yak and Chiru. We concluded our trip with two extensions in Sichuan, Labahe and Tangjiahe Nature Reserves to look for Red Panda, Takin and other mammals.

Posted on November 08, 2018 01:28 PM by pfaucher pfaucher | 80 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 17, 2018

Southeast Arizona Tour, April 23 - May 9, 2018

We visited southeast Arizona from April 23 - May 9, 2018. Places visited included Madera Canyon, just south of Tucson, Patagonia, Ramsey Canyon, Paradise, Portal and Saguaro National Park. The primary focus of the trip was birding but we also looked for mammals, lizards and flowers. To see a collection of many of the birds we saw go to Marc's journal post at:

https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/mfaucher/16588-southeast-arizona-tour-april-23-may-9-2018

Posted on May 17, 2018 05:54 PM by pfaucher pfaucher | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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