December 9, 2011
The rain took us by surprise at the Northern Jaguar Reserve this month, along with the coldness that we felt a little bit more each day. A light but steady drizzle covered the reserve for nearly three days, and Los Pavos was covered in fog, a rare and majestic scene. We do not know exactly how much rain fell, as we were not able to download the information from the weather stations, but we know it had to be a good deal because water began to flow in the arroyos. We have previously talked about these winter rains that occur outside of the monsoon season, locally known as “las equipatas,” and provide a major source of moisture for plants in the area.
In our travels, we found remains of deer and javelina that were probably killed and eaten by mountain lions or jaguars. One of the deer remains was the freshest evidence of predation we have ever seen; we found the four legs, hair, and a bunch of crushed bones, as well as the animal’s stomach contents. Perhaps the chase happened early that morning while we were asleep only a few hundred meters from the place.
This time we had 10 jaguar pictures from the camera traps that we reviewed. Most of the photos are of the jaguar we call “El Inmenso,” who remains the dominant male in the area. There is also a photograph of the jaguar named “Mayo.” Mayo seems to have been in the background and sometimes appears in El Inmenso’s domain. Finally, two pleasant surprises: First, we found a picture of a new jaguar on the reserve. She has previously appeared south of the reserve on two of the neighboring Viviendo con Felinos ranches. The jaguar is called “La Flaca,” although there is nothing weak about her since the photos show she is a strong female. We will talk about the origin of La Flaca’s name and the history behind it soon. The second surprise was a photograph of a jaguar that we now know is a female. This is “Chasah;” you may remember we had pictures of her from January 2010. It is great to know that she is in the area and is a female, and we hope to soon find another mother jaguar with cub.
Finally, we wish you happy holidays and hope all of your goals are met for the coming year. We look forward to continuing to work together with you in the conservation of the jaguar and to bringing you our future adventures at the Northern Jaguar Reserve.
– Carmina & Miguel
Our jaguar guardians, Carmina Gutiérrez and Miguel Gómez Ramírez, have worked at the Northern Jaguar Reserve since October 2008. As the reserve’s resident biologists, Carmina and Miguel patrol lands to keep out poachers, sustain ongoing management of the reserve, maintain a network of motion-triggered cameras, and inventory the ecological health of reserve lands and waters.