Jaguar Guardian Blog – May 2009

June 20, 2009

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Dear friends,

Here we are, again with more news about our work and adventures at the Northern Jaguar Reserve.

It has been very hot and getting hotter day by day. All of the ranchers and ourselves hope that the rainy season begins soon. One day the temperature was up to 113°F near the Aros and Yaqui rivers! Also the days are getting longer, so we have to wake up very early in morning in order to walk while it is still cool because dehydration can be very dangerous.

A great surprise this month was to see cacti flowers like Mammillaria spp., Echinocereus spp., prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), and organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi). Another surprise was to see military macaws! Each year, macaws fly in and around the reserve looking for the fruits of organ pipe cacti. One day we recorded three macaws flying right above the house at Los Pavos, which was very exciting.

And what about camera-trap photos?? Well, we had pictures of deer, turkeys, javelinas, and all four felines: jaguar, mountain lion, ocelot, and bobcat. We had six jaguar photos, four of them from our friend Perrito, who is roaming primarily at Los Pavos. At Dubaral, we caught another picture of a jaguar, but unfortunately we can’t distinguish the spot pattern so we can’t know if it is a new jaguar or an old friend. At Babisal, we had another jaguar photo, the camera didn’t take the complete body, but we could distinguish that it is a new jaguar. We have not named it yet, and we want you to help us chose a name – so please make a suggestion!

As the rainy season will begin soon and rising water levels in the arroyos has cost us several cameras in the past, we have put the Feline Photo Project on hold, retrieving all the cameras on the neighboring ranches until October. We will place these cameras again when ranchers renew agreements to work with the project in the fall. But we are still visiting all of the ranchers, talking with them, drinking coffee, and in general trying to be good jaguar friends.

Best regards,

– Miguel & Carmina

Miguel Gómez Ramírez and Carmina Gutiérrez began their current work, as Jaguar Guardian and Feline Photo Project Technician respectively, in October 2008. They both participate in jaguar conservation projects at and around the Northern Jaguar Reserve.