Sleeping with a jaguar
One early morning we spotted fresh tracks and scats of two jaguars (Panthera onca) on one of the trails near our field station in Sierra de las Minas. As we carefully followed the tracks, searching for signs of the elusive felines we were surprised to end up right outside our camp. So while we and our USAID guests had been sound asleep, the jaguar had paid us a little visit.
Not that we minded, on the contrary, the presence of jaguars in Sierra de las Minas is an indicator of a healthy ecosystem, because it shows that there is enough pray in this area. To survive jaguars depend on large extensions of interconnected habitat with an abundant availability of wildlife to pray on.
Even though jaguar tracks are found regularly in the Sierra de la Minas we still don’t run a permanent research program that indicates the survival status of the cats such as threats of inbreeding, mobilization areas, and overlapping of territories between males. As the first step of a formal research program, Defensores de la Naturaleza's investigation team will soon set up a series of heat-sensitive camera traps within the core area of the park. We would much appreciate your support and suggestions that could lead us to donors that provide funds for the protection of the jaguar.