Jaguar Guardian Blog – April 2010

May 19, 2010

Dear Friends,

Oh! This time we have had eight photos of three different jaguars that were photographed in the northern part of the reserve. Possibly the male jaguar “Mayo” is the new landowner at Los Pavos, since “Perrito” has not been seen for a while.

Mayo was photographed on the night of April 19th by two camera trap stations installed at Arroyo Los Pavos. Later the same night, in early hours of April 20th, Mayo passed by another camera trap in a place we call “Kitty City” – an area between the southwestern end of Los Pavos and Dubaral. Then on the morning of April 20th, he went to Arroyo Carricito at the northern edge of Dubaral. Two days later, on April 22nd, he returned to Los Pavos and was photographed in Cajón Los Pavos. Finally, Mayo appeared again on the night of April 25th, the last sighting for this month. Wow! What a long way to travel! It seems that he is possibly exploring his new territory and is looking for food and females.

“Balam” is the second jaguar captured in this month’s pictures. This jaguar was photographed on April 9th near Kitty City at Dubaral. This is the second time that Balam has appeared. The sex of this jaguar is not yet clear in the photos, but we think that Balam is a female because the locations are in Mayo’s territory. We will see soon.

A third jaguar was also detected this month. It occurred a kilometer west of Dubaral’s ranch headquarters on April 17th. This seems like a new individual because the spot pattern is different from the rest of our jaguars. It is an adult and the sex is again not clear in the photograph. Unfortunately, only one of the two cameras that are installed at this camera trap station worked properly. So we don’t have both side views of this jaguar.

Early in April, the bat researchers Christa Weise and Scott Richardson and the herpetologists Jim Rorabaugh and Abi King visited the Northern Jaguar Reserve to teach techniques to study bats and herps to biology students from CESUES-Hermosillo (a graduate technical college). Also some people from the Yaqui tribe came from the Sierra de Bacatete to learn and get to know the reserve. We had a great time with all of them, catching bats and some herps. Seven species of bats were recorded in our bat surveys. In our travels, we also found a West Mexican coralsnake (Micrurus distans) that the herpetologists said is the northernmost record of this species.

The Wild Horizons team, directed by Alicia Decina, arrived at Los Pavos at the end of the month. They will film jaguars and other wildlife at the Northern Jaguar Reserve for a Discovery Channel production. We are very excited! Nick and John (the cameramen) are staying at the reserve right now; they will spend every night this month sitting in a blind waiting for any animal activity. We heard that they already have a puma on video and other animals too, though no jaguars yet. It is not easy, but it is also not impossible. Just wait, you will see.

From Miguel: I must tell you that I am very sad because Carmina broke her ankle in the last days we were at the reserve this month. She will stay in town to recover for several weeks, maybe of a couple of months, and she won’t be able to travel with me to the reserve. However, Carmina is working at home despite her injury. I just want to express my desire for her to have a quick recovery and hope that she walks again soon in the jaguar lands.

Best regards,

– Miguel & Carmina

Our jaguar guardians, Miguel Gómez Ramírez and Carmina Gutiérrez, have worked at the Northern Jaguar Reserve since October 2008. As the reserve’s resident biologists, Miguel and Carmina 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.

West Mexican coralsnake photo by Abi King