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Friday, 22 December 2017

Wolverines, Wildcats, Ferals and Hybrids and Sea Serpents: 2018 is going to be a busy year

It is rather odd how you can suddenly be asked something and your realise that what you are being asked is, in point of fact, a request to look into something.

Here is an example.  Last week I was about to have my dinner and the phone rang.  It was a  call from a very noteworthy fellow who asked about any recent non native cat sightings so I explained that I still received reports but then I realised that his tone was all wrong so I asked: "When was the last time you phoned me? Must be a while ago now?"  It was a while back. Fifteen (15) years back in fact so I asked him outright why he was calling as he did not seem that intent on pumas, panthers or lynx?

"Well, I was just wondering how you were coming along with your wolverine work" was his reply and so I asked what had piqued his new interest in the mustelid in question? It seems that he had heard, due to his position in Scotland, of sightings of wolverine that were outside the area I had previously mapped them. So we chatted and I realised that the population had expanded somewhat since I wrote my preliminary paper UK National Wolverine Population: Preliminary Notes some 17 years had elapsed. 25th November, 2000 is the date on the paper. Seventeen years.

That made me look at another paper I had written and submitted: Felids: Wildcats, Ferals and Hybrids and that was dated 23rd September...2000!

The Fox and Hybrid Study had begun in 1997 and that is constantly being added to and thanks to information from the National Fox Welfare Society a much better picture is available which will probably mean an up-dating of the Red Paper (I): Canids as there will also be much more to add on the subject of wolves -in Europe the situation is changing each year with new canid species moving in.  In the United States there is also a lot going on and a lot more has been learnt from my contacts with Forest & Wildlife Service offices.

This will all need to be added to my newer projects that also include The Red Paper (II): Felids and since I have been asking blog visitors since 2011 to pass along links or news of any unidentified sea creatures (or "sea serpent"/"Sea monster") they see with absolutely zero response -I am going to have to start the work from scratch and a plan of action is already underway. No, blog readers will not be reading of anything I find -unless they buy the book after all the work has been completed.  This also means that no one out there can snap up what I post and claim it as their own work (which happens a lot).

My one disappointment is that, seven years after setting up this blog, there is absolutely no feedback or any kind of interaction with visitors.  No one has seen or read or heard of anything strange that they can be bothered to forward to me.  This is the internet age and you do not have to sit down and write a letter then go to post it.  But I accept that this is what has happened to the formerly curious and enquiring people of the past who communicated and read books -they've been "internetified"!

Now, as I do not "do" Christmas it is time for more work.  I am that dull.

The Sea Serpent is a Fact,” a story published in the Washington Times, April 24, 1904, with illustrations that showcase many of the famous sightings from the 19th century. In Chronicling America(Library of Congress) .

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