December 20, 2010
Here we are again to talk a bit about our monthly work at the Northern Jaguar Reserve.
Throughout 2010, we have placed and reviewed many new camera traps on the reserve – thanks to the support we’ve received from donors and institutions committed to the conservation of the jaguar. As we gain more and more cameras to monitor new sites, we increase the chances of photographing more individual jaguars on the reserve and neighboring ranches.
We are very excited because even though the year is not yet over, we have already broken our own annual record of both feline and jaguar pictures. During the October-November period, there were more than 130 photos of the four cat species – of which 13 were from jaguars. This is the largest number of jaguar photographs that has been obtained over the 10 years of monitoring at the reserve.
As you might imagine: “Mayo” is the main protagonist in these latest photos. There are 12 pictures of this male jaguar, some in places within Los Pavos and Dubaral where we haven’t seen him previously. We hope to have pictures of Mayo at Babisal and La Ventana soon, or are these ranches the territory of another male that we have not yet identified?
It appears that the new dominant female of the reserve is “Corazón,” who was photographed again in October at Los Pavos along the stream Las Tinajitas. In this same location just a few days later, we had a photo of Mayo. Just as in 2009, when we imagined “Cholla” and “Perrito” together, we can now picture Mayo and Corazón together, as a couple, and we hope to soon obtain pictures of their jaguar cubs. This would be great news for 2011, would it not?
As a result of having so many photos of jaguars taken during the year, we now know more about the habits of this species, where individuals move, what time they usually spend active, and if they interact between sexes. Every month, we know a little more about the ecology of northern jaguars and even other species that are also distributed in the area.
This month, we not only reviewed the cameras that we have in the field; we helped Rick Williams, Laco, and Laqui Duarte in the early stages of construction for the next outhouse at the reserve (this time at Babisal). This is great news because we are now implementing strategies on the reserve that will minimize human impacts, especially in areas of greater diversity such as Babisal.
Our activities this month also included the final quarterly sampling of water quality at the reserve and surrounding areas. We are pleased to share with you that the water is of very good quality. The Los Pavos well had higher concentrations of the minerals we sampled than the other ranches, yet these levels are not enough to affect the wildlife that feed here. Future testing will be done once or twice a year to assure that water quality remains stable or even better than in previous years.
That is all for this time, but we won’t end without first wishing you the best for next year. We look forward to continue sharing with you a bit about our adventures and experiences in the amazing area of the Northern Jaguar Reserve in the year ahead.
– 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.