December 20, 2011
On this past trip, we traveled over a great part of Rancho Los Alisos now that there are nine deer transects set up here. Three of these transects were established in different types of vegetation: oak, mesquite, and riparian. When we were setting up the transects near the Arroyo Las Lajas, we found a cow’s placenta. I had never seen anything like this, but it was probably a normal sight for the vaqueros that were with me. We reviewed the fetus inside and everything appeared to be normal.
One of the deer transects in the oak woodlands was on a hillside, and to our surprise it was one of the places where we found a great number of fecal groups. Another find was an encounter with a Phrynosoma species. When we traveled to Cájon del Mudo, we stopped at the Agua Fría ranch. Upon returning to our truck, we noticed a visitor. It was a sparrow, and it let us take photos of it. On the way to the cameras at Bábaco, we found a red-tailed hawk in one of the trees near the path. When he began to fly away, I noticed something had fallen. We looked around and found rabbit’s feet. We left them hanging from a tree trunk in case he returned.
We were lucky to end the year with photos of the four felines and the four main prey species: a jaguar at Bábaco; several mountain lion photos at Las Sabanillas, El Sapo, Los Alisos, and El Puerto; bobcats at Los Alisos; and ocelots at El Sapo, La Mesa Rica, and Bábaco. I am not sure but don’t think the jaguar has been previously photo-identified; it is definitely a male.
I have also been checking the work that was done on the gabions at La Tinaja, Las Tésotas, and Las Cuevas. The work was done well, but the best ending to the year was clearly the photos of the four felines and the four principal prey. I hope that the coming year will be even better for the surrounding ranches and the Northern Jaguar Reserve. I also hope that you have enjoyed this month’s adventure and that next year brings many excellent photos!
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.