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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Snapping the toddy cat on purpose

It was almost within reach of the bait, but then the toddy cat changed its mind.

After the toddy cat's first visit I decided to try baiting it into a strangler fig.

The upright trunks were picturesque and more accessible than the log jam and windblown tree I had previously tried.  

The first fig we tried was a wash, so we pulled the bait and moved it to another tree.

There the camera snapped only one photo, and strangely the toddy cat quit the tree before it reached the bait. 

I suspected the flash scared it away, but knew it would soon habituate if it was the same animal making its rounds. 

We decided to make the next set on a prostrate tree decorated with a fresh seed-filled scat, most probably the work of our omnivorous toddy cat. 

The location was made for camera trapping: there was a vertical pole to attach the camera, and the toppled trunk would be easily accessible to almost any small mammal. 

The only detraction was its location next to a trail used by villagers. 

We staked the chicken guts with a bamboo splint and covered them with a leaf. 

I had to leave for Rangoon the next day, but instructed the team to leave my two homebrews out for two more nights. 

A dedicated student took the night bus and delivered the cameras the morning before I flew home. 

The toddy cat had left 31 photos of its feast.  

My camera trapping venture in the Rakhine Yoma was over, but the cooperative toddy cat gave it a memorable ending.


Trailblazer said...

Brilliant catch! Beautiful photos!

randomtruth said...

Good stuff Codge. I too just had success with a nice log set, but I sure didn't catch any critters as cool as that!