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JUST MAMMALS TOUR
The South American mammal fauna is uniquely fascinating, but unlike in the savannas of Africa a certain patience is needed to see them. This tour will focus squarely on mammals visiting sites with the best chances of observing spectacular species such as Jaguar and Tapir, but not neglecting the smaller, easily-overlooked armadillos, bats and rodents. Under the expert leadership of mammalogist Dr Robert Owen you will visit bat roosts and do some small scale capture and release of rodents, building as diverse a mammal list as possible in the time available.
Lesser Bulldog Bat roost (right) Noctilio albiventris
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To see as many species of mammals as we can!
This tour is designed in consultation with the client. We recommend at least 10 days, preferably more in order to increase the possibilities of trapping success.
Best time to visit:
This tour runs year round. Note that because of the nature of mammal activity much of this tour will take place after dark and during the early morning hours, with rest periods during the hot hours of the day.
This tour is designed in consultation with the client. Note that the price per person per day for days in the Chaco differs from days spent in eastern Paraguay.
(Itineraries are subject to change according to levels of animal activity or client´s preference.)
What else might we see?:
Everybody enjoys seeing mammals, but its a fact that they can be frustratingly difficult to observe. This unique tour, under the leadership of mammalogist Dr Robert Owen of the Texas Tech Univeristy and Centro de Mastozoologia del Paraguay aims to prove that with a little bit of effort, mammal-watching can be every bit as exciting and rewarding as birdwatching.
What we will see depends on the route that you choose but in the Chaco large mammals might include Jaguar, Puma, Geoffroy´s Cat, Lowland Tapir, Chaco, Collared and White-lipped Peccary, Giant Anteater, Tamandua, numerous species of armadillo (including Greater and Lesser Hairy, Six-banded, Giant and Southern Three-banded), Crab-eating and Azara´s Fox, Crab-eating Raccoon, Plains Vizcacha, various species of monkey (such as Tufted Capuchin, Night Monkey and Dusky Titi) and Grey Brocket deer. Adding the Pantanal to your itinerary might bring Capybara, Marsh Deer, Coati and Giant Otter. Amongst the most regularly observed Atlantic Forest mammals are Azara´s Agouti, Black Howler, Paca, Jaguarundi, Bush Dog, Red Brocket Deer, Nine-banded Armadillo, Hairy Tree Porcupine and Brazilian Cottontail.
However what makes this tour particularly special is that we will not be neglecting to look for the smaller mammals that other tours prefer to ignore. We will be visiting various bat roosts to examine the species composition, we will also capture bats with nets and traps, a process that will enable us to properly identify them. We won´t be capturing the bats just for fun though. Morphometric data will be collected from each and the records added to the national database of bat distribution at the Centro de Mastozoologia del Paraguay. The cerrado is a hotspot for bat diversity.
Another group that are easily overlooked are rodents and using a variety of different trapping techniques we will be capturing mice and rats. Again there is a more serious purpose to these captures, and blood samples will be taken to test for the presence or absence of hantavirus as part of the Centro de Mastozoologia del Paraguay ongoing project. Some individuals may be collected for this purpose. Amongst the larger rodents and rodent-like creatures that we might encounter on our trip are Pampas and Yellow-toothed Cavy, Chaco Mara, Plains Vizcacha, Conover´s Tuco-tuco and Coypu.
The last of the easily-overlooked groups that we will be looking for are the opossums. Live traps placed in trees and on the ground might capture a variety of the smaller species including various species of Short-tailed Opossum, Long-haired Woolly Mouse Opossum, two species of Fat-tailed Opossum and others. Larger species that we may come across with some luck include White-eared Opossum, Southern Black-eared Opossum, Thick-tailed Opossum, Brown-eared Woolly Opossum, Southeastern Four-eyed Opossum and maybe even a Water Opossum.
Grey Short-tailed Opossum Monodelphis domestica
What does it include?:
The price includes pick-up from and return to Asunción hotel, accommodation, transport, food, non-alcoholic drinks and guiding fees.
It does not include travel insurance, personal expenses, alcoholic drinks or travel costs incurred before the beginning of the tour or after return to Asunción.
For further information or to book your tour email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended by Mammal Watching.com
Read independent reviews by clicking the links below:
Report by Sjeff Ollers 2009
Report by Jon Hall 2010