Working on mammals…

Back to Spain, in Los Campanarios de Azaba, the team Skua is working again on mammals. Many phototraps are located inside the property, monitoring the situation and the passage of the most secretive species.The work is not so easy, because our effort to attract the species are clashing against the foxiness and skill of the Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), that here are able to climb an absolutelly vertical trunk of Holm oak (Quercus ilex) for even more than 2 meters in height!

Anyway, results are not lacking: we discovered that not only foxes are very common in the property, but also Beech martens (Martes foina), are appearing in front of nearly every phototrap! One of them has also penetrated by night inside the lodge, creating some disarray and eating some pillows: surely an amazing animal, but also a pretty agressive one, not so easy to handle…

The Common genet (Genetta genetta), like the Beech martens, has became a regular visitor of the canopy drinking hide and our Riccardo is preparing the equipment to get great pictures from the hide.

But the best news are the first caps of an Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) in the Los Campanarios de Azaba property! This species is an interesting little carnivore widespread in Africa and in the Near East that was introduced, probably by Arabs, like the Common genet, into Iberian Peninsula, and here has found a suitable habitat, spreading north till the Salamanca Province. Actually, Los Campanarios the Azaba is one of the northernmost point of all the spanish distribution of the mongoose, so this record is pretty interesting.

Trying to monitoring the mongooses, a very cute little mammal has been trapped in a feeder: a Greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula). It’s one of the most widespread shrews of Spain, but, lacking specific researches on micro-mammals, inside Los Campanarios de Azaba, this rapresents the first record of the property!

Finally, Badgers (Meles meles): an active burrow was located on December, but individuals are not moving at the moment, probably because of cold temperature.

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