I have been sitting on this post for too long now, so I have just decided to post it already, dammit!
This is my first post! So apologies for any weird coding!
I thought it would be fitting for my first post to be the brain-child of my China trip - photoblog and list of things that I saw on my volunteer fieldwork in Kuankuoshui Nature Reserve in China.
Kuankuoshui 宽阔水 Nature Reserve is in Northern Guizhou 贵州 province, China. *insert screencap of googlemaps* little thing here about all the forest type blah blah.
I wound up in Kuankuoshui (KKS) from a volunteering advert on evoldir . I was working for Professor Liang 梁教授 of Hainan Normal University 海南师范大学 and his masters students doing nest-searching for cuckoo-host coevolution and pheasant incubation experiments.
Because my camera distracts me from work, I didn’t always have my camera on me, so not all of these photos are mine. I also didn’t see all of these animals myself, some were seen by the masters students Wang Jiajia 王佳佳, Su Tongping 粟通萍, and Huo Juan 霍 娟.
This post is intended as a very limited documentation of the creatures found in KKS NR, as very little information exists on it in English. However, this is by no means a comprehensive herp list because we had no time to look for herps seriously, so these are all incidental encounters. Because herp resources are poor in English in China, these ID's are very preliminary and any help would be greatly appreciated!
Sinonatrix percarinata. Mountain Water Snake.华游蛇 (HuáYóuShé)
Trimeresurus stejnegeri Steineger's Bamboo PitViper. 竹叶青 (ZhúYèQīng) Sorry, this photo is exceptionally terrible, as it was a rainy day and all we had was an iPhone. Photo by V. Belluz
Scincella potanini Potanin's Dwarf Skink. 康定滑蜥 (KāngDìngHuáXī). I'm not confident of this ID.
We also saw Sphenomorphus indicus. It's possible I saw more species but these were so difficult to catch and I was busy birding!
Total Lizard Species in Park: 5
Odorrana? Photo by Su 粟通萍
This park is apparently well-known Chinese birders for the relative ease at which you can see unusual birds, such as the Asian Emerald Cuckoo, and the Golden Pheasant. I have 65 confirmed IDs from the park, but there were lots of warbler things (Small Brown Birds!)… Total bird species in park: 179 (possibly more)
See some of my photos on Flickr
Mysterious animals that signs say are in the park (those that I wanted to find but couldn't): Kuankuoshui salamander, Tremenick's Tragopan, Clouded Leopard, Francois Langur, Other monkeys
If you want to visit KKS: The park is ~2hrs away from Suiyang city (accessable by public busses from Guiyang 贵阳, and Zunyi 遵义), and you can hire a taxi there for approx 200CNY. The park has a hotel with hot showers, but also has more basic facilities for long-term guests (where we stayed). I have been told that there is no restaurant but if you bring food they will cook it for you. KKS has 3 main dirt roads through it, which are accessable by car. There are also a number of small trails through the forest, leading to small Han villages, whom have mostly never seen foreigners. The people here are lovely and extraordinarily generous. It might be advisable to hire a guide (I don't know if it can be done) and/or speak Chinese as some of the remote villages can be difficult to access and they might be able to interpret the local Guizhou language. Bring lots of rain gear, as almost every day rains during the summer, and it's very cold in winter. However, the sunny days are stunning and you're guaranteed to see herps. Summer is also the best time to see the Asian Emerald Cuckoo. There is phone and internet reception on China Telecom's UIM network. If anyone wants to do a better account of creatures here then contact me and I can give you an animal list for the park (which unfortunately is a little out of date in terms of taxonomy).
Ramblings of a mad biologist