Just like wearing a long, silky and luxuriant coat, the sifaka that Dr. Russell Mittermeier describes it as "one of the most colorful and attractive of all the lemurs", it's the Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema). Andasibe NP is the best place to see the diademed sifakas, also we can find some other lemurs that share the same territory with the diademed sifakas, like the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer), the common brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus) and the indri (Indri indri). Especially the indris, there's about 90% of the range which shared with the diademed sifakas. Why the two similar-sized big lemurs can endure each other in the same tree? One reason is that they eat different part of the plant (the indri prefer immature leaves, while the sifaka eat mainly fruits and flowers); and while they feed in the canopy, indri normally forage at 13-meter-high while the sifaka stay slightly lower, it's about 11-meter-high. Wildlife also understand the market segmentation to avoid excessive competition, impressive!
看起來像是穿著一件華麗的長大衣，被當代狐猴研究權威Dr. Russell Mittermeier譽為最美麗的狐猴之一，冕狐猴 (the Diademed Sifaka, Propithecus diadema) 就是美的這麼理直氣壯。Andasibe NP是較容易觀察冕狐猴的地方，同時也可以觀察到其它和冕狐猴共享領域的狐猴，例如赤腹狐猴 (Eulemur rubriventer)、褐狐猴 (Eulemur fulvus) 以及光面狐猴 (Indri indri)。尤其是光面狐猴，大約有90%的領域是和冕狐猴共享的，體型相近的這兩種大型狐猴究竟為什麼可以容忍彼此在同一棵樹上取食？原因就在於，即便牠們喜歡的植物大部分都相同，但是偏好取食的部位卻有所區隔 (光面狐猴喜歡嫩葉，冕狐猴則喜歡果實或者花)；以及雖然牠們都喜歡棲息在樹冠層，但是棲息的高度也略有落差 (光面狐猴偏好在約13公尺高的樹枝上，冕狐猴則主要棲息於11公尺左右的樹上)。野生動物也懂市場區隔避免過度競爭，佩服！
- Apr 25 Thu 2013 23:34
- Apr 19 Fri 2013 02:32
沖繩生態旅遊團，6/11-6/14 (跨端午節)，34,000元新台幣，有人願意參加小弟職業生涯的第一團嗎？因為我有來自航空公司的訂位壓力，他們希望我下週一 (4/22) 前給出確定要幾個位子，時間非常的趕... 所以如果可以在週日 (4/21) 以前先跟小弟報名並且付了一萬元訂金的話 (5/10前將尾款付清即可)，團費降兩千變成32,000元，算是感謝各位對小弟的幫忙囉~~~ 預定滿10人出團，最多只能收20人，謝謝！
- Apr 16 Tue 2013 16:11
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:37
It was a raining day. After the dusk, the rain was stopped, the time was around 10 pm. Although it's summer now in New Zealand, but the wind outside was blew from the south... Pretty cold, I though it was about 10 degrees Celsius. Luca and me, we both knew that the low temperature might got some negative effect to our field observation, but no one gave up. Finally, we found one Brothers Island Tuatara (or Günther's Tuatara, Sphenodon guntheri)! It was just there! Just like waiting for us there! It's lay on the trail, didn't run and didn't scare... What a nice reptile! We are honored we can find this old species! According to the fossil record, Tuatara occured when 225 mya, this old species was watching the raise and fall of Dinosaur, until the extinction of Moa recently, until Human. We hope the cute small dinosaur could keep staying on Earth forever!
那天下了整天的雨，好不容易雨停了，正好在天完全黑的晚上十點左右，停了。雖然是紐西蘭的夏天，但是外面刮著的卻是南方來的冷風，氣溫大概只有十度。Luca和我雖然都知道這很有可能不利於我們的夜間觀察，但是沒有人有放棄的念頭。終於，花了一些時間在島上亂走之後，看到了一隻古氏喙頭蜥 (Günther's Tuatara or Brothers Island Tuatara, Sphenodon guntheri)。這隻古氏喙頭蜥彷彿是特地出現來等我們似的，靜靜的趴在步道上，對於我們的接近和觸摸一點都不在意的樣子。牠有夠冰！雖然在接觸過北方喙頭蜥 (Northern Tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus) 之後，對於喙頭蜥的低體溫已經有了心理準備... 但是這隻在寒冷夜間出現的古氏喙頭蜥仍然讓我們吃了一驚！這個分布範圍和數量都遠少於北方喙頭蜥的物種最近被認為應該只是一個遺傳上略有差異的小族群，不應該是個有效種... 但也有別派的說法支持了古氏喙頭蜥仍是有效種。科學是必須要不斷的辯證的，在我不知道喙頭蜥到底有幾種的時候，當然是以最寬鬆的態度去盡量多記錄了。維持了一貫的"淡定"作風，喙頭蜥真的是配合度非常高的模特兒。完成了觀察拍攝之後，Luca和我才忽然驚覺我們已經快要冷到受不了了！感謝阿古 (牠的名字) 願意和遠道而來的客人碰個面！從兩億兩千五百萬年前就出現，看著恐龍的興盛、殞落，一直到近代滅絕的恐鳥，然後是人類；這個歷史悠久的物種，顯然不像牠們冷酷的外表和體溫，是群非常好客且溫柔友善的小恐龍！
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:33
Among the entire distribution range of the Rein Snake (Rhadinophis frenatus), Taiwan is the only record in island. Since 1993, the first individual has been discovered in Li-Long Mountain by Mr. Wen-Horn Lin, fewer than 20 living specimens have been found and most of them were adults; it's an extremely rare species among Taiwanese snakes. In adult, the dorsal coloration is green; but it's grey in young individuals. The one in this picture is bluish green, maybe we can classify it as a "subadult". I think, this stage of the coloration is the most beautiful one in R. frenatus!
在灰腹綠錦蛇 (Rhadinophis frenatus) 的天然棲地中，台灣是唯一分布在島嶼的紀錄。從1993年林文宏先生在里龍山發現第一條之後，近20年間被明確記錄的活體數量應低於20條，其中大部分都是成體，是台灣目擊紀錄最少的蛇之一。幼體為灰色，成體為綠色，此圖中的個體略呈藍色，就姑且稱之為亞成體吧！這真是灰腹綠錦蛇最漂亮的一個階段了！
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:28
The Takahē (the South Island Takahē, Porphyrio hochstetteri) is a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand. They were once considered to be extinction in 1898, but rediscovered in 1948. After a general survey for the population in 2008, the scientists estimated it about 224 in the total population number... it's still precarious! I think they looked like the Chocobos of "Final Fantasy", the bird species which is cute and precious in evolution!
Takahē (the South Island Takahē, Porphyrio hochstetteri) 中文稱作南秧雞 (聽起來有點沒FU)，是一種紐西蘭特有的不會飛鳥類。牠們曾經一度在1898年被認為滅絕，在1948年才又重新發現，在2008年普查後的族群數大約只有224隻... 還是岌岌可危啊！我覺得牠們長的根本就很像"太空戰士"系列遊戲中的陸行鳥啊，真的是一種不但可愛而且在演化上富有珍貴意義的鳥類！
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:21
This blue-from Ishikawa's frog (イシカワガエル, Odorrana ishikawae) was the most exciting encounter among the HerpVenture in Okinawa this time! Though perhaps it's not accurate, but another species of frogs in Japan also appeared blue individual, they supposed it was a miracle which occured only 1/50000 in chance! I guess it's probably the similar situation for this. The lack of yellow pigment might be the reason why a green frog became blue... we were so lucky we can found the mutant blue frog this time, AWESOME!!
這隻藍色型的石川蛙 (the Ishikawa's frog, イシカワガエル, Odorrana ishikawae) 是本次沖繩兩爬大冒險中，最令人興奮的一次發現了！雖然也許不精準，但在日本的別種青蛙也曾出現過藍色的個體，當時被認為是五萬分之一的奇蹟，我猜想藍色的石川蛙也許也差不多吧！黃色素的缺乏可能是造成綠色的青蛙變成藍色的主因，能在野外見到這樣的變異個體實在是太幸運了！
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:16
The Ishikawa's frog (イシカワガエル, Odorrana ishikawae) is a big frog endemic to northern Okinawa Island, it's about 9-11 cm of the body length. The endemic species is also very beautiful, it's famous as "the most beautiful frog in Japan". In 2011, a study report (Kuramoto et al., 2011) revealed that the population of Ishikawa's frog in Amami Island as a distinct new species: Odorrana splendida. After that, we can only find the Ishikawa's frogs in the northern Okinawa Island. We were pretty lucky this time, we found one finally after we trekked in the forest for three hours!
石川蛙 (イシカワガエル, Ishikawa's frog, Odorrana ishikawae) 是一種只棲息在沖繩島北部的大型蛙類，體長大約9-11公分。這種沖繩北部特有的青蛙外觀非常的美麗，素有"日本國境內最美的青蛙"稱號。2011年以後在奄美大島的石川蛙被Kuramoto等人發表為新種：奄美石川蛙 (アマミイシカワガエル, Odorrana splendida) 之後，舊稱的石川蛙就只能在沖繩島北部發現了。這次運氣不錯，在森林裡漫步了三個小時，終於找到一隻了！
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:12
The Habu (ハブ, 波布, Protobothrops flavoviridis) is the biggest viper among Japanese poisonous snakes. The biggest individual so far is the one found in Onna Village of Okinawa Island when October 12th, 2011. The length was 242 cm, weight 2.8 kg. The Japanese government considered Habu as a dangerous creature, so they keep trying to reduce the population number of Habu by spend 3000 or 4000 yen for each Habu caught by people as a reward. Although I don't like this kind of work, but I can also understood how fear Japanese people are to Habu. In general, we estimate the striking distance of the snake is half to two-thirds of the length. So if you encounter the big snake with 242 cm long, the snake can bite you in the distance about 120-160 cm! I think many people don't have a snake-hook even longer than that! It's more dangerous than all the Taiwanese six-big poisonous snakes! Although this is an extreme example, but anyway we leave nothing to chance. We should be more careful if we are doing field work in the distribution areas of Habu... there is no guarantee that you will not encounter a record-breaking big snake, right? Let's keep a safe distance, enjoy the beauty of the golden snake quietly... what a nice moment!
黃綠龜殼花 (the Habu, ハブ, 波布, Protobothrops flavoviridis) 是日本國境內最大的毒蛇。目前最大的紀錄是2011年10月12日在沖繩島恩納村被人打死的個體，長242公分，重2.8公斤。被日本政府視為危險動物的黃綠龜殼花，在不同地區以三到四千日元不等的價格向民眾收購，目的就是希望壓低黃綠龜殼花的數量以減少對民眾的傷害。雖然個人不喜歡這種做法，但是對於日本民眾對黃綠龜殼花的恐懼卻也可以理解。我們一般將蛇的攻擊距離估計為蛇身長的二分之一到三分之二，試想如果你遇上了242公分長的巨無霸，牠可以彈過來咬人的距離大約是120-160公分遠！很多人的蛇鉤都沒有那麼長！危險性比台灣的六大毒蛇都要高！雖說這是個極端例子，但禦敵必須從嚴，在有黃綠龜殼花分布的地區進行野外觀察的時候還是要加倍小心，難保你不會遇上破紀錄的大傢伙，對吧？在小心保持安全距離的前提之下，靜靜欣賞這金黃色的蜿蜒之美，多棒！
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:07
The Okinawa Rail (ヤンバルクイナ, the Yanbaru Kuina, Gallirallus okinawae), is the endemic species inhabit northern Okinawa Island: the "Yanbaru" area. This forest land of Yanbaru area is extremely small. The Yanbaru Kuina was discovered relatively recent in 1981, and soon listed on "Natural monuments designated by the nation of Japan" in the next year. Which shows Japanese government attaches great importance to this rare bird. The population number of the flightless bird was estimated about 1800 when the bird was just been described. But until 2005, the number dropped to about 717 individuals. The main threats for the population of Yanbaru Kuina are as below: hunting by invasive animals (the India Grey Mongoose, dogs and cats), especially for the Indian Gray Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), the Japanese government bulit a fence crossing from the Shioyawan of Ogimi Village to the Fukuchi Dam of Higashimura in 2005, use it to stop the India Grey Mongoose keep going north to the Yanbaru area. The fence stop 486 individuals of the India Grey Mongoose successfully in 2008! But unfortunately, still part of the Indian Gray Mongoose has fled into the northern forest. Otherwise, still some problems like habitat fragmentation caused by roads, road-killed... etc. How to keep on helping the population of Yanbaru Kuina, which is a great challenge to the Japanese government.
山原水雞 (ヤンバルクイナ, the Yanbaru Kuina, Gallirallus okinawae) 是沖繩島北邊森林的特有種，全世界只有在這一片"山原"地區的森林才能見到牠們，分布非常的狹窄。牠們在相對晚近的1981年才被學界發現，隔年立刻就被列名"日本國指定天然紀念物"，足見日本學界對於這種珍稀鳥類的高度重視。這種幾乎無法飛行的奇特鳥類在被發現之初所推定的族群數大約在1800隻左右，到最近一次 (2005年) 普查時只剩約717隻，主要造成牠們的族群數下降的原因有：外來動物的捕殺 (印度灰獴、貓和狗)，尤其針對印度灰獴 (Herpestes edwardsii)，日本政府在2005年開始在沖繩大宜味村塩屋灣到東村福地大壩之間拉起了一道阻擋印度灰獴繼續往北擴散的"北上防止柵"，這道柵欄在2008年就欄下了486隻印度灰獴！但可惜的是仍有部分的印度灰獴已經在北部森林裡流竄了。此外的問題還有棲地被道路切割破碎化，路殺等問題，如何繼續保護山原水雞，考驗著日本政府的智慧。
- Apr 14 Sun 2013 00:00
Japanese Yamashinae's Cave Gecko inhibit in Kume Island of Okinawa, it's a natural monument of Okinawa Prefecture. The population size is pretty low and classified as EN by IUCN, we can only find it in primary forest of Okinawa. Yamashinae's Cave Gecko is the most different one of the five subspecies, they have the only yellow irises (other 4 are red-irised) and yellow pattern, very special!
久米瞼虎 (Goniurosaurus kuroiwae yamashinae) 產於沖繩久米島，是沖繩縣指定天然紀念物。數量稀少、被IUCN判定為瀕危的物種，目前只在沖繩的原始林才有機會發現。久米瞼虎和其他四個亞種差異最大，是唯一黃色虹膜 (其它皆為紅色)、黃色花紋的亞種，非常獨特！
- Apr 13 Sat 2013 23:54
The Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus) is the biggest amphibian on the world, also a amazing creature endemic to Japan. The Japanese name is オオサンショウウオ (pronounce like OOSANSYOUUO) or ハンザキ (pronounce like HANZAKI), means "a huge salamanser" or "a very strong creature which does not die after even cut in half by a knife", respectively. The Japanese Giant Salamanders are listed on CITES I and classified as NT by IUCN, they are a very precious amphibian. Although it's about 30 years that the problem about hybridization between Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) and Japanese Giant Salamander in Kyoto, but still we can find other natural populations out of Kyoto. Hope we can have a durative chance meeting with them in the field!
日本大山椒魚 (Andrias japonicus) 是世界最大的兩棲類，也是日本特有的神奇生物！日文名是オオサンショウウオ，讀起來像是OOSANSYOUUO，意思就是一隻"大隻的山椒魚"；另一個日文名是ハンザキ，讀起來像是HANZAKI，意思是"一種生命力極旺盛的生物，就算被刀砍成兩半還是死不了"。日本大山椒魚名列CITES附錄一，也被IUCN評定為近危，是一種非常珍貴的兩棲類。雖然中國大鯢 (Andrias davidianus) 和日本大山椒魚在京都的雜交問題已經拖了近三十年還無法解決，但是在京都以外的地方我們仍有機會看到自然狀態的日本大山椒魚。希望我們一直都有機會在野外持續觀察這些驚奇的生物！
- Apr 13 Sat 2013 23:48
The Malagasy Rainbow Frog (Scaphiophryne gottlebei) is one of the most famous and rare amphibian among Malagasy frog species. In 2008, the Zoological Society of London was named the Malagasy Rainbow Frog as "being among the rarest and most remarkable amphibians" on the planet. The beauty of Malagasy Rainbow Frog is being proved. But the population's main threat has coming behind the beauty; thousands are captured every year for the pet trade, it makes them caught in a vicious cycle. The Malagasy Rainbow Frog inhibit in the rocky canyons of the Isalo Massif, south western Madagascar. They occured and bred only in the temporary pools of the canyons and only in raining season. It's difficult to find during dry season, so we can only found 6 juveniles in about 90 minutes. They were pretty tiny, only about 10 mm for SVL (the adult are about 30-40 mm) each, but still, it's AWESOME! It's enough for me! Hope we can always find them again and again every time we visit there!
彩虹犁足蛙 (the Malagasy Rainbow Frog, Scaphiophryne gottlebei) 是馬達加斯加最知名的兩棲類之一，同時也是最稀少的兩棲類之一。倫敦動物學會在2008年將彩虹犁足蛙列名"這個星球上最稀有也最令人讚嘆的兩棲類"，牠的美是禁得起考驗的！但也因為牠們真的太美了，每年可能有幾千隻彩虹犁足蛙被走私出境... 也是讓牠們的處境陷入惡性循環的主因。彩虹犁足蛙只棲息在馬達加斯加西南部的Isalo地區，在岩石山塊夾縫間的小水窪進行繁殖，主要也只在雨季出現，旱季基本上很難找到。因此我們這次只能找到在水邊搞不清楚狀況的幼蛙，體長只有約一公分 (成蛙大約三到四公分)，花了大約一個半小時找到了六隻，已經非常的滿足了！希望以後每次來都可以再度和牠們碰個面喔！
- Apr 13 Sat 2013 23:43
Congratulations to Taiwan for beating Netherlands and got the second win of WBC! In Taiwan, if we talked about to beat Netherlands, we were always took out Koxinga who did beat Dutch colonists more than 300 years ago. In 1662, Koxinga drove Dutchmen away from Taiwan; more than 200 years after, Robert Swinhoe who was the naturalist made so much contributions about reporting Taiwanese animal species. He named a endemic rodent by the name of Koxinga, it's Coxing's White-Bellied Rat (Niviventer coninga). Coxing's White-Bellied Rat inhibit in the middle and low elevation forest of Taiwan, they connect upper and lower layers of the food web, a very important position in nature. Their hair mosaicked some hard hairs, it's a special touch among Taiwanese mammals!
恭喜中華隊擊敗荷蘭獲得WBC第二勝！說到擊敗荷蘭，就不得不搬出曾經在台灣擊敗過荷蘭的國姓爺：鄭成功了！鄭成功在西元1662年在台灣擊敗荷蘭，兩百多年後的1871年，對於台灣生物多樣性報導有諸多貢獻的郇和 (斯文豪，Robert Swinhoe) 以"國姓爺"來為一種台灣特有的嚙齒類命名，即為刺鼠 (Niviventer coninga)。刺鼠是台灣中低海拔森林常見的物種，也是這些地區蛇類的主要食物，為食物網中相當重要的"中間份子"。體表的絨毛之中帶有少許硬毛，在台灣也是一個少見的特徵。
- Apr 13 Sat 2013 23:36
Congratulations to Taiwan for the first win of WBC! The beaming Taiwan Mountain Pitviper (Ovophis makazayazaya) is the only reddish species among Taiwanese vipers, it's gorgeous! Once, around the years of 1930 to 1950, it was lack of any sampling record in Taiwan for about 50 years! But recently due to the efforts from more and more researchers and hobbyists, the legendary viper has became familiar. According to the paper published by Anita Malhotra et al. in 2011, Ovophis monticola makazayazaya should be a full species as Ovophis makazayazaya endemic to Taiwan. We hope we can still meet the endemic "Strawberry-Headed Pit Viper" in the mountains occasionally!
恭喜中華隊獲得經典賽第一場勝利！喜氣洋洋的瑪家山龜殼花 (the Taiwan Mountain Pitviper, Ovophis makazayazaya) 是台灣蝮蛇科物種之中唯一偏紅色的，非常美麗！在1930年至1980年間，在台灣曾有約50年沒有任何採集記錄的傳奇蛇類，隨著近年來研究者以及愛好者的增加，神秘面紗已經逐漸的被揭開。根據Anita Malhotra等人在2011年的研究報告指出，台灣的瑪家山龜殼花應是一個特有種，使這個原稱阿里山龜殼花 (因為當初被鑑定的標本來自阿里山) 的奇妙物種正名為瑪家山龜殼花 (被命名為新種的標本產自屏東瑪家)。台灣特有種的可愛小草莓，希望以後也可以持續的在山上和牠們來一段邂逅！