Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ocelot Camera Trapping

Our primary aim of our camera trapping project is to capture images of the elusive jaguar (Panthera onca) so that we may use the rosette pattern to identify the individual against our database. So far this has been going very well and as a byproduct we also collect multiple images of other species of animal which can sometimes add extra interest to looking through the images.
One of the more common non-target species we see on camera trap results

One of our favourite species to find is the ocelot (Leopardus pardialis) as no one at GVI has managed to see one of these felines yet in the flesh. Normally they move past the camera site quickly and so we get a very blurred image in the results. The fact that they have more merged rosettes than their jaguar counterparts means that it is very tricky to get a decent photo for identification.

That is until now! Our scent station on the South Boundary trail turned up trumps this week as we literally stopped an ocelot in its tracks using the scent of Calvin Klein Obsession for Men. For the first time we got a really detailed look at the coat of this cat. It could possibly be the same ocelot that has stalked this path before, this area has turned up ocelot images on multiple occasions.

Capturing these images led to a flurry of activity in the kitchen where people immediately went about naming him/her. The voting was once again intense but we have come out with the winner being the slightly strange name of Optimus Prime. The transformers series being well known for their cat influences. We’ll see how long that name lasts…..