Jaguar Guardian Blog – October 2011

November 21, 2011

Dear Friends,

Almost a year ago, we talked about the hard work we had to do after the rainy season. As part of our field trip, we had to manually repair the road in the section of Arroyo Babisal, moving fallen rocks and trees to gain access to the northern part of the Northern Jaguar Reserve. Do you remember? This year, we had a similar experience. Although the summer rains were not as intense as in previous years, the road was damaged in several places. Our goal was to reach Los Pavos, no matter the cost…

We primarily had to fill ditches in the road, which was very cumbersome and slow. We had to constantly stop and delay our trip. When we finally got to Los Pavos, everything returned to normal.

Among the most interesting things that happened to us this trip was to rescue a turtle. Yes, we rescued it from dying of dehydration. These animals can spend long periods without food or drink, provided they are protected, for example, sheltered below ground. But this turtle was caught in a former water trough; it probably arrived on a rainy day and was caught once the trough dried up. When we saw the turtle, it was very weak, dry, hardly moving, and showed no fear of us. We gave a bit of our water to it, and so the turtle began to move. We sought out a piece of cactus, and the turtle ate and ate, slowly beginning to move around some more. Then we took it to a pond and were excited to see the turtle enjoy fresh water. We left it there and continued on with our work.

Another day, also at Los Pavos, we encountered a rattlesnake. Unfortunately, it took off when it saw us, and we could not take good pictures. We were able to identify it as a tiger rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris), which according to the literature is possibly the most venomous rattlesnake in the region and is subject to special protection by Mexican law.

We also saw a couple of javelina in front of us at Dubaral. It was fun because we saw them long before they saw us, so we could watch how they forage and witnessed a fight between two males who then ran away quickly when startled by the sight of us and our truck. It was a funny experience.

Although we did not personally see jaguars, we had many pictures of them. This month, we had 25 jaguar pictures of Mayo, El Inmenso, and Caza. Apparently both Mayo and El Inmenso continue “fighting” for the territory of Los Pavos since they both appeared at the ranch. This time there were several days between photos of these two. We know Caza is female; she was named by the previous owner of Las Tésotas (now part of the reserve) and is now walking in the area of Dubaral. We can’t avoid thinking that this female is searching this ranch for a safe place for breeding, as with Cecilia, so hopefully we will soon have the second photo of a jaguar cub. Cross your fingers!

Meanwhile, we’re ready for our next field trip, where we hope to have many pictures of jaguars and other species as well as to see various animals again. Wait for our next blog with more news!

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.