Kevin Murray

Unido: 06.ago.2018 Última actividad: 04.dic.2021 iNaturalist

Retired with my wife to the farm Brakputs on the northern boundary of the Namaqua National Park, Namaqualand, South Africa. The farm was officially proclaimed a Private Nature Reserve on 22 Feb 2021. Submissions to iNaturalist will help us considerably with our species lists. I think we never really knew what the word ‘biodiversity’ meant until we got here! What an incredible environment.

IDENTIFYING ANIMAL SCATS

Identifying animal scats has been an interest of mine for more than 20 years. My pocket guide Scatalog was published by Struik in 2011. I also now have updated data and information.

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of IDing scats on iNat. And a challenge it often is. The bottom line is that a single closeup pic of the scat itself is usually insufficient for an ID. This usually just gives shape. You invariably need other information as well. A good start is a scale item, like a coin or ruler (even a finger for which you have specified an exact fingernail width). It allows me to calculate the exact dimensions of the scat and produce a shortlist of possible candidates.

If you are interested in submitting scat observations, then see the following two journal posts in the "Scats & Dung (s Afr)" project:

General suggestions:

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/scats-dung-s-afr/journal/27547-submitting-inat-observations-of-animal-scats-droppings-some-suggestions

Why and how to use scale items:

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/scats-dung-s-afr/journal/37133-achieving-the-full-potential-of-a-scale-item-in-scat-observations

I strongly encourage you to (i) join the project and (ii) add your droppings observations to the project. This will avoid your observations sometimes getting "lost in the cracks" when I'm unable to access iNat for extended periods.

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/scats-dung-s-afr

I’m happy to try to identify any scat, but there’s much more information available on mammals than any other group. But don’t test me with the likes of small rodents and bats! With a few exceptions, IDs of scats from other groups (reptiles, birds, amphibians, etc.) are likely to be only to group level. I will also restrict myself to southern Africa.

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