August 27, 2009
The rainy season has already begun, some cattle ponds are almost full and some streams have water, the landscape is green and so beautiful – but rain brings about one problem: The road can be destroyed and that can potentially make our work more difficult. This month some parts of the road were affected with boulders falling from the cliffs on the sides, but we were able to move them and continue our travelling around the reserve. We hope rains don’t affect roads this year as badly as they did last year, but we won’t know until next month.
As we told you last month, it has been getting hotter day by day. This month the temperature reached 118.4°F and that made it very difficult for us to do our field work some days. The rise in temperature contributed to increased tick presence on grassy areas and because of that we got a lot of red spots on our legs. But besides heat and ticks, we didn’t have any problems, and we successfully checked all cameras.
Do you remember that last month we were very sad because we didn’t have any jaguar photos? Well, this month we had three jaguar pictures. One very interesting thing is that each photo is of a different jaguar: one of them is, of course, Perrito, another one is the jaguar “without name” that we mentioned in May asking you to suggest a name for him, and the third one is the real surprise…
We told you some months ago that we are doing jaguar identification based on spot patterns. With this technique we can know for each photo if it is of a new jaguar or of a recurring one. While we were doing spot pattern identification, we found a special and very peculiar spot in what we thought was a new jaguar. The spot was shaped like a heart, and that’s why we decided immediately to name the jaguar “Corazón.” But that’s not all – checking the photo with more detail, we found it was a female! So, the name is perfect for her. And there’s more: When we reviewed past years’ photos, we found a picture of Corazón taken in February 2006 at Los Pavos when she was a just a cub, so she is at least three years old now. Last news is that Corazón’s most recent picture was taken a week before Perrito in the same place! We hope they have met and that they soon have many cubs to increase the jaguar population at the Northern Jaguar Reserve.
For now this is all the jaguar news we have for you. We hope to have more adventures and jaguar news next month.
– Carmina & Miguel
Carmina Gutiérrez and Miguel Gómez Ramírez began their current work, as Feline Photo Project Technician and Jaguar Guardian respectively, in October 2008. They both participate in jaguar conservation projects at and around the Northern Jaguar Reserve.