Mongoose, Geckos and Bugs
Blog by MBP Volunteer, Annie
One of the first days of working in the forest, back in April, I was standing in the rain waiting for the next beep to assess the lemurs’ behavior, when I saw a small head poking out of the underbrush nearby. It looked just like a large weasel, but quickly it darted across the path with a flash of red and I learned that it was a mongoose! It was about the size and shape of a large weasel, but with an awesome black-and-red striped tail. Well worth seeing, despite the weather.
I did manage to snag photos of some of the weirder insects and other invertebrates on the forest floor, such as this giant red millipede. I also saw a huge pill-bug the other day, about 2 inches long and was very tempted to poke it to see if it would roll up, but it was so cool I thought I would leave it alone.
A bit closer to home are the day geckos that skirt around the edges of the tent sites, poking in all the corners and searching for crumbs. They are silhouetted sharply when they wander up the sides of your tent. I have also found night geckos lurking where I brush my teeth (see pic), and have reached for many a shirt hanging on the line only to find a frog crammed into a fold or pocket. One of these traveled with me from the tent site down the hill to the dining area before I realized what that squishy feeling was and liberated it into the grass.
At any rate, mysterious and fantastic creatures abound, and I haven’t even mentioned the odd bird life or funny land snails. Still working on getting more vertebrate photos…