More New Mammals to be Described?

Kinkajou sp… Colombia, May 2012

by Andy Deighton

Hi Martin
The recent ‘Olinguito’ press releases (and Steve Blain’s posting on Birding Frontiers) rang a few bells with a mammal encounter our Ecotours group saw on a night spotlighting sortie at the ProAves Colibri Del Sol ‘Dusky Starfrontlet’ reserve west of Medellin in Colombia in May 2012.
At the time we had it down as a Kinkajou, though the photos (taken by Ian Merrill) show similarities with Steve Blain’s photos (especially the small furry ears), though it does look somewhat fatter faced and with a less pointed nose.
On altitude alone (it was around 2950m) it seems to rule out Kinkajou, and the Olingo’s which are more lowland forest specialists.
A mammal expert at the Smithsonian has confirmed it is indeed a Kinkajou.
It seems that although currently regarded as a single species, there will be several species involved when the taxonomists get to work on this group.
The Colibri Del Sol ProAves reserve protects 2,852ha of montane forest and paramo, established in 2005 by ProAves W. of Medellin in Antioquia. Several endemic range restricted bird species are found there, such as Dusky Starfrontlet, Fenwick’s Antpitta, Paramillo Tapaculo and Chestnut Bellied Flowerpiercer .
IMG_9644 mystery mammal
IMG_9643 mystery mammalKinkajou sp… photos by Ian Merrill, Colombia, May 2012

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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