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Rare jaguarundi sightings: TIDE’s camera traps capture thriving wildlife in its private protected lands

Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2023. 8:18 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Camera traps set up in the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment’s Private Protected Lands (TPPL) have recently revealed a plethora of thriving wildlife, including a rare glimpse of a jaguarundi with its young.

Reymundo Chen, the field researcher responsible for overseeing the camera traps, expressed his excitement over the recent findings. “Over the past year, our camera traps have unveiled an impressive range of wildlife inhabiting the TPPL. From armadillos, gibnuts, and agoutis to deer, great curassows, and ocelots, the list has been diverse. But, the recent footage of a jaguarundi with babies is truly a sight to behold.”

TIDE researchers methodically set up these cameras on active trails displaying evident tracks. Affixed at knee height on trees, this positioning proves effective in capturing a majority of mammals frequenting the area. To minimize disturbance, Chen and his team make it a point to check on the cameras just once a month.

While on-ground patrols offer some insights into the animals of the TPPL, it’s the camera traps that provide a broader and more vivid picture. Chen elaborated, “During our patrols, we typically find traces or indications of specific wildlife. Direct encounters, however, are quite rare. For instance, in all my years of patrolling, I’ve never come across an armadillo wandering the trails.”

The camera traps serve a dual purpose for TIDE. Apart from documenting the rich biodiversity, the captured footage aids in inventorying the animal species present in TPPL. Analyzing the patterns of these sightings, their locations, and timings can provide in-depth knowledge about the breeding habits and population dynamics of these animals.

Chen concluded with an optimistic note on the implications of these findings. “The presence of larger mammals, especially predator species like the jaguarundi, is indicative of a thriving ecosystem. It suggests that not only is there a healthy population of these animals, but also of their prey species – a testament to the balanced and flourishing environment within the TPPL.”

 

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