Title Image

Title Image


This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Joining the Aplodontia Club

This post is a long time coming ...

Struck out on the elusive Mt. Beaver two years in a row and on my third season in the Sierras I finally got the little guy. Fairly decent pictures of him too, but I wish more images were in full-frame. Now that I got him I can concentrate on getting the perfect picture next year.

Smile for the camera!

I was so busy right after picking up this cam at the Codger's annual camera trapping workshop that I didn't get around to processing them several months later. The nice part about that though was going back through the images was almost like going through them the first time.

Early afternoon Mt. Beaver. Also looks like he is going through a molt. Not sure what is the new coat and what is the old coat though.
Check out that human-like ear

Early evening Mt. Beaver

NOM NOM NOM.  Look at those claws!
No wonder they are able to build such elaborate tunnel systems.
Cropped image



A few more pictures, because, well why the hell not. Keep going to the bottom of the post for a short discussion on the set.

Great look at the ear

Sniff ... Sniff ... Sniff


Go! Go! Go!
A bit blurry but this guy was hauling down the tunnel right at lunch time
This set took pictures for only 6 days. A following post will discuss the flash-activating battery destroyer.

However, every photo of an Aplodontia was taken during daylight hours which is very surprising to me.  The flash still fired during many of the day photos because the camera was situated in a dense alder thicket that did not have a lot of light.

It took roughly 24 hours to get the first Mt. Beaver shot. A Mt. Beaver then visited the camera every day (+5) until the batteries died.

  • Day 2: 1:45PM and 2:31PM (considered 1 visit)
  • Day 3: 11:03AM
  • Day 4: 4:54PM, 5:16PM and 5:24PM (considered 1 visit)
  • Day 5: 6:32AM and 7:13AM (considered 1 visit)
  • Day 6: 7:11AM and 1:48PM (considered 2 visits)

I think these are likely all the same individual even though the amount of red/brown looks a bit less in some images than in others. I think that might be just an artifact of the camera, but maybe this is more than one critter.

UPDATE:  Per RT's suggestion in the comments another cropped, image.



  1. Congratulations :) Great shots, love the closeup where its eating.

    1. Thanks Henry. Got him to cooperate and look at the camera. Keep after that genet and one will eventually look right at you and smile.

  2. Such a great set of in-home, days-in-the-life behavioral shots. So jealous.

    1. If only the camera had run for more than 6 days. I am sure I missed all kinds of great shots. Probably danced in front of the camera gangnam style and I missed it. None-the-less I was very happy with this set. I couple of more posts on it to come.

    2. Hmmm... the aplo does look a bit like Psy, too...

      A small reco if I may - change the 2nd to last photo to a ~ 2x crop, to add a 2nd closeup character shot to the post.

  3. Some wonderful captures. We are so lucky to have learned of this amazing creature and then be able to study it right at the SFSU Field Campus.

  4. Congratulations!! Great images. The one showing the claws is awesome.

    1. Thank BL. Looking at this critter still cracks me up.

  5. That last one takes the cake for sure! Love the fact that you can see that tunnel in the other shots as well. Nicely done Jake.

    1. Thanks Seabass. There was a lot of sign that this part of the tunnel was active and in use. I chose this very open part of the tunnel because I liked the background and was hoping it would lead to full-frame images.