July 19, 2012
This trip was somewhat different because it was the last trip for Carmina and Miguel, two of our jaguar guardians. Also, there was a photo of a black bear. I was not able to find the gray fox skull that I buried a year ago at Los Pavos. I ate a lot of pitaya and traveled all through the reserve and neighboring ranches. It was quite an experience. Laqui came with me to check the cameras. The first stop was Los Pavos where Carmina and Miguel gave me their final instructions for all of the camera locations on the reserve, as well as instructions for the Cuddeback Attack cameras that I haven’t used before.
We had some very good days while we were together at Los Pavos, and something I didn’t anticipate happened. A photo of a black bear was taken around 3:00 a.m. while we were sleeping. We checked the cameras around 6:00 a.m. and think that the bear must have come close to the house while we were sleeping. On our next trip, we hope to find more photos of the bear in the Los Pavos arroyo. Also, for the first time, I was able to take photos of a quail, which I found under the truck and trying to get away from the heat. I think the wind was so hot that it had its eyes closed and was trying to cool off a little. It didn’t get much relief, as it ran away when I took my last photo.
When we went to Dubaral, we left Carmina and Miguel in order to check the cameras. It was a long trip even though we left as early as possible to avoid the sun. We came to a very pretty and refreshing place with an arroyo that had a lot of tall palm trees. During the entire trip, we were collecting pitaya fruit. The cactus begin to bear fruit this time of year, so we ate quite a lot of them.
While we were at Rancho Los Alisos, the first rainfall of the season arrived, which meant that frogs and toads began to come out. Actually at night, when I was getting ready to go to sleep, a toad scared me with the noise he made. It was quite a surprise to see a huge toad jumping out of the brush.
From talking to the ranchers, we found out that they were worried because the rainy season was so late this year. Diego Ezrré, owner of La Tinaja, talked about the amount of debris on the long road to the reserve and on some of the ranch roads. I had an idea that I thought about proposing to the ranchers to use the PET garbage cans. They could put them at the gates so that people who pass by could use them. They could also put garbage cans at the ranches to recycle the PET cans instead of throwing them away. I thought this would be a good idea for the reserve and for the ranches both. I will look into this, and if it looks promising, I will suggest this proposal to them.
Finally, before signing off, I would like to wish Carmina and Miguel a lot of luck in their future plans. I am sure that they will have much success in their new endeavors. I want to thank them for being excellent work companions and friends. We will continue to be in contact and work together, and I hope they will keep me posted and come back to the reserve very soon.
Daniela Gutiérrez began her position as the Viviendo con Felinos field technician in March 2011. She works with ranchers surrounding the Northern Jaguar Reserve monitoring wildlife, particularly the area’s four large felines, and promoting habitat restoration.