March 23, 2010
Here we are again, telling you about our monthly activities at the Northern Jaguar Reserve. Starting with the jaguar news: This month we got four pictures from two different jaguars. One of these was an unnamed jaguar that first appeared in February 2009 at Los Pavos. Now with your suggestions, we decided to name it “Chasah,” which means “to seek refuge” in Hebrew. It is a great name for a jaguar because they have been persecuted by humans for many years and now they find a refuge at the reserve. The second jaguar is a new record, and we named this one “Balam.” This is a name that also came to us as a suggestion from our supporters, and it means “jaguar” in the Mayan language.
We are happy because our web-trapping design and paired cameras seem to be working well. We are getting great jaguar pictures (with both side views) at different points on the reserve, and we are retrieving more scientific data about northern jaguars. Thanks to your support, we know more and more about these beautiful animals.
We have other interesting news. We recently had many pictures of a very rare kind of bobcat. This bobcat is special because if you see it, you could think that it is an ocelot, but if look closely at the detail, it is a bobcat! This kind of cat is present in the U.S. and is very rare in Mexico, therefore we think it is a male looking for a new range and moving further south than normal. We hope to get more pictures of this bobcat. We named it “Pochiviz.” This name is a mixture of “Gato Pochi,” the local name for bobcat, and “Galaviz,” the local name for ocelot.
Finally, we want to tell you about our visits to three neighboring ranches that are new to us: Cajón Babizoso, Tinaja Ahogadora, and Las Tezotas. The first two ranches are potential acquisitions for reserve expansion. Both of these ranches are really beautiful. The riparian vegetation at Cajón Babizoso is amazing; when we were walking along its streams, we found many plants that we never thought could be in this area. We think that the purchase of this ranch will give the reserve not only more protection for jaguars but many different habitats and maybe new faunal records. Tinaja Ahogadora has pretty nice oak woodlands in the mountains and a lot of (but not less beautiful) thornscrub similar to many parts of the reserve.
The other place that we visited was Rancho Las Tezotas. This ranch is very special because it is a ranch where the owner didn’t used to like jaguars. He was against the Feline Photo Project in the beginning, but he has accepted the program now. More importantly, he now agrees with jaguar conservation and jaguar coexistence. We will put some cameras on his ranch next month. We think this is a great opportunity for other ranchers who are against this program to see the benefits of wildlife conservation. Good luck to Mr. Sergio Amaya, and we hope to soon get a jaguar picture on his ranch.
This is all we have to share with you about our work for now. We hope to continue telling about our work and adventures at the reserve soon.
– 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.
*Field staff voted for the names Balam and Chasah out of the choices submitted by NJP supporters. Thanks to Patricia Tricorache and Judy Tipton for contributing these selections!