Jaguar Guardian Blog – March 2011

April 22, 2011

Hi Friends,

We are very excited; we found 20 jaguar photos during our camera review this month. In these pictures there are four different jaguars: “Mayo,” “El Inmenso” (a newly named jaguar), “Cecilia,” and “Ferb” (another new jaguar). This number of photos is a new record for us and coincides with the months of highest jaguar activity on the reserve in recent years. Our objective as biologists is to now find the causes or explanations about this increase of jaguar activity in the area. It is an interesting issue.

As you may remember, there was an adult male jaguar in late December and early January within Mayo’s territory. We decided to name this jaguar El Inmenso because even before we saw his photographs, we knew the size of his tracks, and they were very big. Laqui named this jaguar on that January morning we were walking by the Arroyo Los Pavos. At the time that we saw the big tracks in the sand, Laqui said excitedly: “He is El Inmenso.” Laqui was jokingly referring to an African lion that, according to a local radio station, had supposedly escaped from somewhere in the neighboring state of Chihuahua. We thought that this name was perfect for this jaguar with the big footprints. Finally, when we saw the photos on the camera, there was no doubt – he was a big male.

We have more photos of El Inmenso this month. It seems that he has displaced Mayo further southward on the reserve. This is our belief because Mayo has been appearing in the southern areas of the reserve since El Inmenso arrived at Los Pavos. And it makes sense; El Inmenso is a bigger animal than Mayo. We were also surprised to find one picture of El Inmenso taken at Rancho El Carricito in late March while we were patrolling the area of Dubaral-Carricito. By the way, Mayo is hanging around this zone still, but recently he is appearing at Babisal too; he has a strong rival on the reserve.

On another note, we are glad to know that Cecilio – whom we must call Cecilia because we now know she is a female and not a male – continues to inhabit the reserve. In past months, she was photographed mainly at Dubaral and Babisal. But this time, the camera traps show us that she is moving within Carricito and parts of Dubaral adjoining the Río Aros. In one picture, she is carrying a hare in her mouth! It is a good picture about jaguar feeding habits.

We also found a new individual jaguar in the pictures, although we cannot assure their sex yet. An elementary school student in Tucson suggested Ferb as a name for a new jaguar, so it is. Ferb was caught on camera in Arroyo El Huijalo at La Ventana in late February and some days later in Arroyo El Burro at Dubaral. We expect to find more pictures of Ferb in the future to know more about this jaguar.

In other news, no less interesting: We started this month with a visit from cameraman Mateo Willis and his assistant Ed Morris, who work for Wild Horizons and are trying to film jaguars in arid lands for a documentary program. They were at the reserve for a week and installed video cameras in an attempt to film a jaguar. We are very anxious to see a jaguar on video; hopefully, this is the moment it will happen.

Our friends Turtle, Rick, Ian, and Juan Carlos from NJP and Naturalia came to the reserve with more work! Seriously, they came to make plans for upgrades to the Babisal infrastructure, and they discussed other reserve issues. They were accompanied by ornithologists David Kramer and John Yerger, who are conducting a spring bird migration study at the reserve. We also spent time with botanists Tom Van Devender and Ana Lilia Reina at Las Tesótas, Babaco, and La Ventana. We were with all these cool people, and as always, we had a good time. As you can see, there were a lot of people at the reserve this month – the same thing with jaguars. What is it that makes the reserve attractive for people and jaguars during this part of the year?

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.

*Field staff voted for the name Ferb out of the choices submitted by NJP supporters and schoolchildren in Tucson. Thanks to Daniza at Drachman Montessori Elementary for contributing this selection!

Ferb at Dubaral, March 2011