Jaguar Guardian Blog – August 2010

September 24, 2010

Dear Friends,

At last, we returned to the Northern Jaguar Reserve to continue our field work, following a month in the office dedicated to updating all of the data we have collected so far this year.

Unfortunately, due to heavy rains during July and early August, the road to the reserve was destroyed again. That prevented us from being able to review some of the cameras, since we only had access to two ranches – La Ventana and Babisal. The cameras at Dubaral and Los Pavos will have to wait a little longer. We ask for your support and cooperation to fix the road so we can soon discover if the cameras from those ranches have lots of photos of jaguars.

The road also was a problem for two friends and researchers who visited us beginning in late August, Hector Gómez de Silva and Mónica Perez. Hector and Mónica came to the reserve for the purpose of conducting a month-long fall migration study of birds. They are expert ornithologists, and we learned a lot from them including some tips on bird identification that will surely help us in the future. They also identified bird pictures taken by the motion-triggered cameras that were not very clear. Due to the road conditions, Hector and Mónica were not able to complete all of their objectives and, like us, were forced to work on only two ranches. This was a shame because we all desired to visit the entire reserve.

Yet not all is bad news. We installed the second solar-powered weather station at the reserve; this time at Babisal. Thanks to your support and donations, we now have weather stations at Los Pavos and Babisal, and we’re ready for the installation of stations at La Ventana and Dubaral. We are very excited because we can now better understand the reserve, not only in its flora and fauna, but also the quality of its water and climate – which is becoming increasingly clear to us.

And of course there are jaguars! Although we could not review all of the cameras, we did have a photo of a jaguar. This in itself is good news, and it is the first record of a jaguar at this particular point. The camera’s location is very close to the house at Babisal, and a day before we reviewed this camera, the jaguar walked by at 6:45 in the morning! At that time, we were already awake, so possibly the jaguar heard us when he passed right behind the house and we did not realize what happened… a little scary, right? This jaguar is a new individual we had not previously photographed (possibly the same one recorded in June at Babisal but definitely not an individual already identified), so again we ask for your creative suggestions to name it. Look at the picture, suggest a possible name, and soon we will inform you what we select for this jaguar. See larger photo here.

That is all for now; we hope that the rains that are occurring in the area do not further affect the road and we can return from the reserve next month to continue telling you our adventures at the reserve and, of course, with the jaguars.

Best regards,

– 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.