July 18, 2011
Coming into Sahuaripa this month, it felt like the temperature had seriously increased since last time. The work has changed a little, and I began to review the cameras on the ranches. The first ranch was Bábaco where we changed a couple of camera locations. This was before coming to La Ventana; we also passed through El Sapo and La Sabanilla. We stayed with Don Julio and his wife (owners of El Sapo), and they returned to Sahuaripa the next day with Miguel over the issue of purchasing El Carricito (which became part of the Northern Jaguar Reserve in March).
The next day, I continued the experience of checking cameras on foot, by horse, and with the truck. Half of the ranches were reviewed using horses, which was a lot of fun. The horseback trips that I enjoyed the most were at La Tinaja and Los Alisos. In the first of these, we traveled near parts of the reserve at La Ventana where I had never been, where pools of water have lasted a year without drying, and I appreciated the scenery along the route. Laqui accompanied me, and I thought as we returned that one would never find their way back among these hills without the help of a vaquero. When we visited Los Alisos, we visited Santa Rosa and Arroyo Las Lajas to update the camera placement. The view from here is breathtaking, and you can see part of La Tinaja and the reserve.
When visiting Las Tésotas, Laqui accompanied me again as well as Carmina and Miguel. This day the heat was very intense, and we went to La Canastilla, where the gauging station lies on the Río Aros – yet the water was too hot to cool us down. On this day, we saw the first drops of rain. The next day, a strong wind began in the afternoon and then came the first rains on the reserve.
Juan Carlos and Gerardo arrived with Nabani Vera, a representative from Iniciativa México, and we all went with them to El Carricito, stopping at Babisal and parts of La Ventana along the way. El Carricito is another area with frontage on the Río Aros, but the water was even warmer here – almost like tea. On our way back to La Ventana that night, we found a pond with frogs and toads, which we were able to detect due to their boisterous singing; it was really impressive with five different amphibian species in one small pond. Everywhere we went was really fun, and we were really exhausted at the end of the day.
On the last day, we went to Cajón del Mudo to review the cameras. Gerardo and Nabani accompanied me, but I took a different path than the one I had used previously. After covering the appropriate distance, we had still not come to the cameras, but I think everyone enjoyed the extra walk.
Then we came to a point where I went by myself to check to see if the camera was there, if we were on the right track, while they were resting. When I returned I told them that we should go because Carmina, Miguel, and Juan Carlos would be worried about us. We turned a bend in the arroyo and saw them sitting and waiting for us. They had heard Gerardo’s voice and thought we were coming back, but we were only 20 yards away and did not notice. Hahaha… The representative from Iniciativa México said the experience in general was “extreme” since the temperature reached 116 degrees that day, but he left happy.
Finally, and most importantly, I was able to review the photos. There was a picture of a jaguar at El Puerto, and apparently, this was not one of those identified previously. There was also a very pretty picture of a puma at Las Cuevas that I hope you enjoy.
See you next month,
Daniela Gutiérrez began her position as the Viviendo con Felinos field technician in March 2011. She works with ten ranchers surrounding the Northern Jaguar Reserve monitoring wildlife, particularly the area’s four large felines, and promoting habitat restoration.