November 20, 2014
Saúl, Laqui, and I worked together this month on the Northern Jaguar Reserve. We began by checking the motion-triggered cameras that are positioned close to the road between La Ventana and Los Pavos. During our journey, we noticed that the vegetation is changing. Plants are drying out and starting to lose their leaves.
We realized that the birds have migrated, and we could not find those that arrived in the summer – like the hooded oriole (Icterus cucullatus) and painted bunting (Passerina ciris). Meanwhile other species had returned, like the painted redstart (Myioborus pictus) and brown-crested flycatcher (Myiarchus tyrannulus). Also, we observed American kestrel (Falco sparverius). Animal movements are much more noticeable during the change of seasons.
Some of the roads were damaged by rain this year, both on the reserve and on the surrounding ranches, which meant our progress was slow. There was one site we could not check due to the bad road conditions. We hope that the roads will be repaired soon so that we can reach that site.
We did not encounter many mammals on this trip, with the exception of the coyotes and deer that we see throughout the year at Maguey Pinto, Arroyo Babisal, and Mesa de Cureda to mention a few sites. Thankfully there is water at these sites year-round. It is interesting that we see some animals more often at certain sites. Javelina appear to prefer the Arroyo Los Pavos to other locations. We are not sure why, but we think it is because of the quantity of food they find there. Wild turkeys are not seen at many locations; I personally have only seen them at a place called Represo El Huijalo. It probably originally got its name because of the turkeys sighted here.
It is worth noting that the wildlife on the reserve have an abundance of food sources, such as the acorns from the huge quantity of oaks in the higher elevations and arroyos. The tubers produce plants like the San Miguelito vine. There are wild chiles, like chiltepines, and mesquite pods known as péchitas.
We continue our work on our beloved reserve, bringing the adventures and important happenings to you.
Until next time,
Javier Valenzuela Amarillas has worked on the Northern Jaguar Reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches since 2012. As a jaguar guardian, he helps maintain an extensive network of motion-triggered cameras, inventory the ecological health of the land and water, and work with ranchers to support local wildlife.