March 15, 2012
Spring has not yet begun, but many plants are flowering, mainly those relatives to the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and others. Perhaps our favorite flower during this time is the Mexican gold poppy (Eschscholzia californica), which has brilliant yellow-orange petals. It is great to see so many new colors on the reserve when the rest of vegetation is gray or with very few vivid colors. Because of the flowers, there is more pollen, which produces allergies for us – nothing bad, but it is a little irritating. There are two plant species that produce high pollen counts this time of year: “Chicura” and “Chicurilla,” or canyon ragweed and Sonoran bursage – the common local names and English names respectively. Ambrosia ambrosioides and A. cordifolia are the scientific names, and we have noticed a certain sensitivity to them.
There were some rainy and cold days in early February, and we could see that there was snow in the mountains between Sonora and Chihuahua. We know that the hot days of spring and summer are close, so we are really enjoying the cold days. It was possible to hike all day without problems from the heat or with water availability. It was just very comfortable.
We have good news for you this time. In the camera trap review this month, we have 24 jaguar photos; most of pictures correspond to “El Inmenso” and “Ferb” in the area of Dubaral. Also, the female jaguar called “Caza” appeared at both Dubaral and Babisal. There are at least two new individuals in the photos, one female and one male, and they appeared at Dubaral and Babisal too.
One day, we were walking an arroyo at Babisal near Rancho Las Tésotas, called Arroyo Brasilar, and we saw some cat tracks in the soil. They were small tracks, but we thought they looked like a jaguar. When we arrived to check the camera-trap station and saw the photos, what a surprise! We had three jaguar pictures, including just two nights before. The photos and these tracks belong to Caza, so now we can identify the tracks of El Inmenso, Ferb, and Caza.
Well, that is all for now. We are preparing for our next travels to the reserve, and we will share more with you about jaguars really 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.