|Greater galago (Otolemur crassicadatus)|
Each week the forest team head out with their head torches on a night survey.
This week was a bit special we conducted our longest night survey ever pushing deeper into the forest, we wanted to see what species dwelled in the depths and darkest areas.
It wasn’t long before one of the volunteers had spotted two eyes reflecting back at them with the torch light in the canopy above. By 9pm we had already spotted four Sunis (tiny antelope the size of a rabbit). As well as ample sightings of both species of Galago bounding through the trees tops, looking suspiciously back at us with their huge lamp like eyes.
As we continued along the trail we managed to spot a Angolan Black and White Colobus, holding a young infant tight to her chest sleeping soundly in the thick braches. Just a few metres on we spot a a Sykes monkey leaping through the branches rudely awakened by our torches and excited whispering.
|African palm civet (Nandinia binotata)|
Then just as we are heading home at around 10pm we see our most interesting species yet. At first we can’t quite make out what we are looking at, they eye shine doesn’t look quite like a bush babies, and as we stare up into the tree tops it gazes down at us a lazily blinks one eye. Almost like a miniature bear we are identifying an African palm civet the first to ever be recorded in Shimoni forest. This nocturnal carnivore has long cat like claws, with a long tail and dense curly fur.
That night was one of the most successful night surveys in our forest teams history. You never know what you will see when you head out into the Shimoni forest but you are always left with an interesting story to tell.