Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Scottie Westfall: White Coyotes in Newfoundland are part golden retriever

A recent genetic study of white coyotes in Newfoundland has revealed that their whiteness is actually the cream gene that entered the coyote gene pool from a tryst between a coyote and a cream-colored golden retriever in 2001. Read more, click here.

MEDIA: 'The Scientist' - can cryptozoology emerge from the shadows?

"With the launch of a new peer-reviewed journal, can cryptozoology emerge from the shadows to be taken seriously by the mainstream scientific community?" asks

Since the demise of the journal Cryptozoology in 1996, there has been no peer-reviewed English-language periodical for the controversial field, which studies animals known from anecdote, folklore, or fragmentary physical evidence, but not yet authenticated with actual specimens. So when the U.K.–based Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) approached popular cryptozoology writer Karl Shuker about launching a new journal, he was happy to oblige.

“I felt it imperative that a journal of this nature should exist again as a platform for formal scientific cryptozoological research and reviews of past cases that mainstream journals may not be willing to consider,” says Shuker, who has a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Having assembled a panel of reviewers who then pored over the first batch of submissions, the CFZ and Shuker published the first issue of The Journal of Cryptozoology in October 2012. Editor-in-chief Shuker insists that all articles are subjected to the “same level of rigorous peer-review evaluations as [in] any mainstream journal.”

Read on...


In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that - whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot, or lake monsters - it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean Zoologist to be interested in. So, after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo, Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

CRYPTOLINK: Humans killed off the thylacine: study

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.  

Tasmanian tiger

Hunting rather than disease killed off the Tasmanian tiger, a University of Adelaide study has found. Source: News Limited

HUMANS alone were responsible for the demise of Australia's extinct native predator, the Tasmanian Tiger, or thylacine, a new study has found.
Led by the University of Adelaide, the study has used new modelling to contradict a widespread belief that disease must have been a factor in the thylacine’s demise.  The thylacine was a unique marsupial found throughout most of Tasmania before European settlement in 1803. Between 1886 and 1909, the Tasmanian government encouraged people to hunt the carnivores and paid bounties on over 2000 thylacine carcasses.

Read on...

ENVIRONMENTAL: UK Government agrees to protect forests

Campaigning / petitioning group 38 Degrees have announced success in their long-running campaign to 'save our forests'...

Yesterday, after months of deliberations – we have the final, official word from the government that they will do what more than half a million of us asked them to – and protect our nation’s forests for good.

 Congratulations! We’ve really, truly, won.  It was a political defeat, and victory for people power they never saw coming.

In late 2010, the government announced a plan to introduce a new law to allow all publicly owned woodlands to be sold off in the future.

The government might have expected a few predictable protests, but there was nothing predictable about what happened next.

  • 538,107 people signed the 38 Degrees petition
  •  More than 100,000 of us contacted our MPs
  •  We funded an independent poll, which found 84% of the public wanted our forests in public hands
  •  Thousands raised nearly £60,000 to pay for ads in national newspapers
  •  More than 30 local campaigning groups sprung into action around the country
  • Over 220,000 of us helped spread the word on social media
When the government finally did admit they got it wrong, they promised to set up an independent forestry panel to advise them on what should be done next.

Again, 38 Degrees members sprang into action:

Read on.....


If all goes to plan, Graham will be handing the blogging reins back to Jon, later today... an ancient ceremony steeped in tradition and ritual, no doubt. 

Talking of tradition, I see our rural internet is being its customary intermittent self, today. That orange flashing light on the modem is going to wear itself out, at this rate.

Nonetheless, today's Gonzo updates are:

LINK: Barbara Dickson to perform 'To Each And Everyone' in Truro (Cornwall)

LINK: Peter Stenshoel reviews Chris Squire's 'Fish Out of Water'




FESTIVAL: Björk on bill for Chicago's indie Pitchfork


*  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

*  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

*  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish and batrachians. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

Scottie Westfall: An Introduction


My name is Scottie Westfall, and I already have an established blog, The Retriever, Dog, & Wildlife Blog, which I have been writing since July 2008.

I initially wrote it to promote some of my writings on another site, but I later found that the blog itself was of greater interest to most readers.

And I found that I loved exploring my many ideas about animals and natural history. It was a nice respite from my studies in political science.

Through my own blog, I have been able to develop my own writing style and make many good friends that I wouldn't otherwise meet. The pup in the above photo is "Pavel," a West Siberian laika that I helped a friend import into Canada this past September. Pavel was born in Eastern Kentucky to a Russian imported father, and I helped send him to a friend in Alberta. Right now, Pavel is running around the forests of Finland, chasing hazel grouse and Swedish vallhunds.

I grew up in the Allegheny Foothills in West Virginia on the same farm my grandparents owned. West Virginia is a remarkable place. Most of the land is no longer intensively farmed, and vast tracts of forest have sprung up where once there were cultivated fields and pastures.

I had the luck of growing up next to my grandparents, who were both children of the Great Depression. My grandfather's family relied upon the forest for much of their sustenance during that period, and he became quite knowledgeable about the ways of wild animals in this area.

From him, I received two gifts:

He taught me so much about the natural world that I know that many things I know now come solely from his tutelage.

And he taught me how to tell a good story.

Although my professional training is in the political economy, my love is always going to be nature and its creatures.

My own areas of focus are domestic dogs and the process through which they became domesticated from wolves, and I am, of course, very interested in wild canids.

I have written extensively about both wild and domestic canids, and I shall provide links for samples below:

I think this list gives you an idea of what sort of posts I write.

A few weeks ago Jon Downes invited me to contribute to this blog, and I was more than happy to join.

I thank Jon very much for this opportunity, and I look forward to posting new blog posts on here in the future.

Until then, feel free to have a look at my blog and the posts I've linked to here.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today


Today is Groundhog Day in North America when the appearance of a groundhog is said to herald the end of winter, or not if it doesn't show.

And now, the news:

OK campers, rise and shine...