Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jaguar preying on green turtle!

For the past few weeks the Jag Cam Project has been trying to get pictures of Jaguars (Panthera onca) predating sea turtles on the beach. This project concentrates on putting cameras in a site known by us to be used by these animals - but so far with no luck. It was recently that we got a new permit to use red filtered flash cameras (in order not to disturb nesting turtles) on the beach. With this new permit, results have been seen after just 2 weeks, in part due to our previous knowledge of using cameras. But the most significant factor is the winding down of the turtle season. This forces jaguars not to kill a turtle when they please, but to come back to the same kill and feed on it in the following days.The cameras were put up after a night patrol with João Gouveia, Alana Andrews, Dave Flynn and Mattie Jacox Kyle. The turtle was discovered very soon after its demise, so much so its blood was still oozing. The site was in the vegetation and not far from the mile marker 16 6/8. All were very excited with the possibility of getting photos from this event since it was so fresh and the turtles are not as constant anymore on our nesting beach.It was the next day that Molly Clifford and Sam Greenhalgh were on site to set up the cameras. Then, in the early night patrol, the same patrol leader (João) and a new team saw that the turtle was not in the same place as before and the cameras were still functioning. This was good news, confirmed the next day when the team on nest check retrieved the cameras and saw the results from the previous night. The early night patrol was there just 1h15min after the Jaguar!

Photos were taken of each side of the Jaguar, enabling its identification in future photos and comparing it to other individuals. This will aid us in our project to try to estimate accurately the size of the jaguar population in Tortuguero National Park.

João Gouveia



Maya said...

Great, congratulations! Looking forward to join you in a month, Maya

Dom G said...

Well done - excellent shots!

jso said...

at last! awesome work, people :)

jso said...

at last! these are beautiful. awesome work, jalovians :)

JoaoG said...

We have more on the way :D