James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

Expedition Update: Wadi Mouth

We are now settled on the beach at the mouth of the Wadi and have spent the morning scrambling up the Wadi to make an initial assessment of what wildlife there might be.  Our great hope was to find signs of the Arabian Leopard.

We passed pools of water left from the rains of the last monsoon, fringed by palms.  The air was full of bird song and we saw a Shrike, a Bulbul, also many butterflies and the occasional dragonfly.  We clambered over large boulders in the steaming heat and set up a camera trap baited with smelly fish entrails on one of the animal tracks.   We followed the trail along the canyon side setting up another camera trap at a suitable narrow passing point.

As we climbed higher we watched a pair of Imperial Eagles soaring overhead.  The Wadi cuts through limestone mountains and the sides are peppered with many caves.  We investigated one on the way down disturbing a young Cobra near the cave mouth.  The rocks around the cave entrance were polished as though by the repeated use by man or beast.  Inside were the scats of hyrax.  We had seen several hyraxes skittering up the cliff faces.  There was also larger scat in the cave yet to be identified.

The heat drove us back to camp around noon.  En route we saw a fully grown Cobra retreating under a rock. An exciting morning.

This article was originally published over on the BSES blog. If you would like to support conservation in Oman then there are lots of ways you can help. If you found this story interesting, then why not tell a friend and help make more people aware. Better yet, we’re returning to Oman next January and you or someone you know could get involved – find out more here.