November 19, 2012
I’m here again to tell you about the latest news from our October fieldwork. I had the opportunity to have a biologist who graduated from the University of the Sierra work with me on the Northern Jaguar Reserve. His name is Javier, and he has field experience working with birds and many types of vegetation. In the coming months, he is going to add to the monitoring information we are gathering, and if all goes well, he will stay on as a new jaguar guardian. Hopefully he will share some of his adventures here at the reserve.
We had a visit from some volunteers who worked on the construction of a second casita and the installation of solar panels at Babisal de Abajo. Their visit was a big success – they finished making the adobe bricks needed for the casita, and we now have electricity! Javier and I took the volunteers on a short hike up the Arroyo Babisal to check on the motion-triggered cameras and change batteries. We taught them about how the cameras work and how we choose their locations. I was able to show them the photos we retrieved, including many fantastic pictures of two young pumas and their mother taken right in front of the camera over a four-day period.
With regard to the camera traps, we had many surprises and were able to obtain several jaguar photos both on the reserve and on the surrounding ranches – all of them females. “Corazón,” a female jaguar first seen in 2006 and last seen in April, was photographed on the reserve at Dubaral. “Libélula,” another female jaguar, was recorded at Los Alisos and La Mesa Rica (two of the Viviendo con Felinos ranches where we have cameras). Libélula is pictured with her stomach enlarged, a sign that suggests she had a cub. The father is most likely “Ferb,” a male jaguar she was seen with on several occasions in the spring. This is really good news for the reserve, since our objective is to conserve the jaguar. The potential for a new cub tells us that we are accomplishing our objective on the reserve and ranches. Now I am wondering this month, “where are the male jaguars?”
Until next time,
Daniela Gutiérrez has worked on the Northern Jaguar Reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches since March 2011. As a jaguar guardian, she maintains an extensive network of motion-triggered cameras on the reserve and ranches, inventories the ecological health of the land and water, and patrols the area to keep out poachers.