It was another exciting week on the project. This week we had Ahora Films (www.ahorafilms.com) on location to do some filming of activities and research projects on campus. The TACT project was of course included and we climbed one of our beautiful strangler figs to get some drone footage. Besides, we were very lucky to have a couple of Mantled Howler Monkeys just a few trees over to complete the picture. I am really looking forward to the finished work by my friend Eduardo Solanos.
At the beginning of this week we also had a community meeting with SINAC and Panthera about their UACFel (Unidad de Atención Conflictos con Felinos) program. This program is educating rural communities about the cohabitation with large cats like Jaguar and Puma. They try to reduce the conflicts between these cats and farmers through research, education and implementation of solutions to minimize incidents.
They were really happy to hear about our camera trapping project and my willingness to share the data on the large cats. Another milestone in the project as this can be considered our first service to the community. In the future we are hoping to expend this community service effort by educational projects at local schools.
Although the drone footage of the project will need a lot of editing before it is released, I can already show you guys some cool footage that we retrieved from the camera traps this week: we got some awesome shots of a Margay (Leopardus wiedii) at 7.5 meters up in a tree. This guy was up at the same spot for about fifteen minutes and returned a few days later for an encore of about ten minutes.
I was over the moon when I saw this footage. Every time I leave the arboreal camera traps I tend to joke to them by saying: “Go get me a cat in the tree.” Having this wish fulfilled is another little milestone in the project.