Baan Maka Nature Lodge – October 2017
Some friends, Games Punjapa and Ian Dugdale, have recently taken over the Baan Maka Nature Lodge at the northern end of Peninsula Thailand. It is close to the entrance of Kaeng Krachan NP and well known for its access to nearby bird hides which also attract a few small mammal species. The property has excellent grounds at the foot of a small limestone hill and borders a small lake and is a convenient base for Kaeng Krachan and the rooms are in the process of being refurbished. The Baan Maka bird list currently has 190 species on it.
On 16 Oct I drove up from Phuket (a 10 hour drive) and Dave Sargeant drove down from Chiang Mai. Kaeng Krachan is closed for the wetter months of Aug-Oct so our plan was to concentrate on mammals and herps in the vicinity of the lodge; beer being the back-up plan should the weather turn inclement, which it did the second of our three nights there. Besides walking the lodge’s grounds we drove and walked nearby roads and explored trails in nearby forest. Mammal and snake lists and pics are shown below; butterflies might be added later.
The following species were all seen in the restaurant area except where noted:
1 – Greater Short-nosed Fruit Bat (Cynopterus sphinx).
2 – Lesser False Vampire Bat (Megaderma spasma). One night-roosting under room 8; I also saw 15 in a road culvert near Baan Maka.
3 – Dobson’s Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus yunanensis). Very similar to R. pearsonni but Dobson’s is larger. It is possible that Dobson’s here might be R. thailandensis, a recent split (described from Chiang Mai) not shown in the fieldguide by Francis (2008).
4 – Malayan Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolphus malayanus).
5 – Intermediate Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros larvatus).
6 – Northern Treeshrew (Tupaia belangeri). Occasional visitors to the fruit feeding station.
7 – Grey-bellied Squirrel (Callosciurus caniceps). Common in the gardens.
8 – Indochinese Ground Squirrel (Menetes berdmorei). Rarely seen at the lodge but regularly seen at the bird hides.
9 – Western Striped Squirrel (Tamiops macclellandii).
Ian had also recently recorded Bengal Slow Loris (Nycicebus bengalensis) in the gardens as well as Pacific Rat (Rattus exulans) and House Rat (Rattus rattus). Lesser Mousedeer (Tragulus kanchil) is also seen at the bird hides.
Snakes seen at Baan Maka:
1 – Island Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus). In the restaurant area.
2 – White-lipped Green Pit Viper (Trimeresurus albolabris). At the rocky area beyond the rooms and near the base of the hill.
Snakes seen at a pond off Road 3432:
The pond here was a flooded roadside ditch about 12 m by 3m with many tree frogs and at one point we could see four snakes resting on branches about one to two foot above the water.
3 – Grey Water Snake (Hypsiscopus plumbea). Five individuals were seen.
4 – Yellow-spotted Keelback (Xenochrophis flavipunctatus). The same individual was seen both nights; both times it soon dropped into the water, unlike the grey water snakes which were in no rush to move.