Indentifying and Protecting Wildlife Corridors

Posts tagged ‘nature’

New Video Shows Wild Jaguar in Arizona

The Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of a wild jaguar currently living in the United States, named ‘Sombra’ by students of the Paolo Freire Freedom School in Tucson. Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Chiricahua Mountains of southern Arizona, the footage shows what appears to be the same jaguar photographed in the nearby Dos Cabezas Mountains in November 2016.

“This beautiful cat has now appeared in images taken seven months apart,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center. “It seems that it’s established residence in excellent habitat more than 50 miles north of the border, which is great news for jaguar recovery.”

“Our kids benefit from an educational philosophy that connects them to their world in a concrete and hands-on way,” said Tadeo Pfister, a science teacher at Paulo Freire. “They love studying these big cats, and it’s thrilling to know that they’re helping to shape a future that includes jaguars.”

The footage, shot this summer, is the first publicly released video of this jaguar. Individual jaguars’ spot patterns are unique, and biologists have compared the photographic evidence to determine that this is the same cat that was photographed last year by a camera maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

In response to the Center’s video release, Arizona Game and Fish Department officials confirmed that Sombra is a male, based on previously unreleased photographic evidence.

Jaguars continue to move into Arizona from a small, vulnerable population in northern Mexico. Seven jaguars have been confirmed by photographs in the United States in the past 20 years, including most recently:

The jaguar named “El Jefe” by Tucson middle school students was photographed by trail cameras more than 100 times in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson between 2012 and 2015. Video footage of El Jefe released in February 2016 went viral and was seen by millions of people around the globe.
A male jaguar, named “Yo’ko” by students at Hiaki High School on the Pascua Yaqui reservation, has been photographed repeatedly between December 2016 and May 2017 by trail cameras in the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona. Yo’ko appears to have established a territory on the Fort Huachuca military reservation.
“Sombra,” which is Spanish for “shadow,” is the third U.S. jaguar detected in the past three years, originally photographed in November 2016 in the Dos Cabezas Mountains just north of the Chiricahuas.

click the link below to read the rest of the story and see video options:

Source: New Video Shows Wild Jaguar in Arizona

Advertisements

Wildlife “Track and Sign Identification” course with Casey McFarland

We organized another wildlife track and sign identification course with renown wildlife specialist Casey McFarland on April 9th and 10th.  He will be in the area this summer and would like to do more courses, so get on our wait list and I’ll keep you posted.

Here is some feedback from a couple of the latest participants:

From Michael Cox ~ The weekend was terrific!  Casey taught me a new way of looking at the natural world.  It was like suddenly realizing that you’ve been living in the dark and having the light turned on.  It was intimidating and challenging but I’d do it again next weekend if I could, and I hope that Casey does another session sometime soon.

I am interested in your project, but I should tel you that I only received a 68 in the course, and reached some astoundingly stupid conclusions, so I’m not sure how much help I could be. So please alert me when you go out next time.

PS- Thanks for the heads up on the course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

and from Sarah and Matt Fontaine ~Hi Peter,

Matt and I both thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and got so much out of it!  I have been looking at tracks, and books of tracks, for a while… it was so satisfying to have someone with extensive knowledge to give hard facts to what had previously been questionable deduction.  And Casey showed us animal sign that I would have walked right past, not knowing what to look for.  We also appreciate the style of teaching: having us try to figure out what a track/sign is using whatever knowledge and common sense we have, before just telling us.  That really gets one looking around, analyzing the surroundings, asking questions like ‘who would live here?’ or ‘what size animal would make that scat?’

We are interested in volunteering for the Pathways monitoring program, do keep us posted!

Supporting Wildlife

Supporting wildlife is like saying you support rain clouds in the desert. Yes, I support rain clouds coming over and giving us rainfall, I support water, and sunlight. I support green, green grass and clover. I support rivers full of water, skies full of sun and clouds and color, and I support the forest full of trees.  I support the wind blowing gently, especially the cool, wet breezes of summer. I support the snow burying  the mountains in winter.  Again, the water, yes I support that.  I support birds flying by, and birds landing and making nests. I support all the animals, and especially the ones that begin with the letter “B”.  Like Bats and Bears, Beavers and Bobcats, Bees and Butterflies.  I support the Moon and the Stars, the Planets too, and Sun in Sky and the light that reaches Earth. I support the fog that fills the valleys on a winter day, and pine needles that collect under the pine trees. I support holes and other burrows in the ground, and sound of rain on a metal roof. 

Wild lands

Wild land, what is it?

Is it pristine land, untouched by humans? Is its value derived from its pristine (untouched) state? Maybe this has been the most popular public notion of what wilderness is, but now we’re realizing the functionallity of wild land is so important for many reasons that affect us directly.  One reason, is that functional, wild land doesn’t cost us anything to maintain – it is this cost of maintaining our built environment that is the root of the word “sustainable”. So we are learning what costs are incured by removing components of wild lands, or by diminishing, altering, re-arranging, changing the percentages of components, or altering dynamic processes (floods, fires).

These components include animal life, plant life, soil life and geology, water (surface) saturation, rainfall, ground water, rivers (acequia, canal and dam systems), lakes, fire cycles, air quality (pollution by particulates, NOx, acid rain, elevated CO2), and other micobiotic and fungal relationships that we are as yet unaware of.  

Wilderness as a mental state has also been valued and is important, again, just knowing that there is a pure land, untouched and beautiful, a virgin – this mental state then releases our stress of seeing all the abused, degraded and “raped” lands all around us.  

Also as a place to physically go for recreation and relaxation, the stress releiving properties are used in this way too: backpacking, camping, day hiking and even motor touring through national parks and wilderness areas.  

Then there is the monetary value of fishing, hunting and outfitting/guiding that provides economy and livelihood for people as well.

But the cost of human landscapes, and lack of cost of wild ones, is something that is not usually recognized. This cost of the human landscape is actually considered part of the economy, and is planned for and included in the GDP.  However, it is not considered an unaffordable cost.

The price of doing business – it gets higher all the time, with every acre of wild land that is altered. The cost/benefit analysis, as we know, does not take into account the costs of: restoring nature, restoring natural balances (removing invasive species, controlling disease vectors, mental health care, pollution of: air, water, biota, soil, bacteria and fungus, and overpopulation of humans and under/overpopulation of biotic communities).  

We usually talk about human overpopulation, and wildlife extinction or underpopulation, but we don’t usually speak of or recognize animal and plant (and microbal) overpopulation. Some obvious ones: white-tailed deer, insects, etc., but almost all environments are full of overpopulated species, and again, invasives are obvious, but not so the natives in overpopulation, including forests and shrub lands. We just don’t see all the imbalance in nature, we call it “normal” or “natural” and thats the end of it.  I would like to see this change.

I would also like to see functioning “wild” lands respected for the cost saving, life giving places they are.  

I would like to see the true cost of doing business calculated. That being shown, “transparent” they call it, business as usual may not be done. That may violate the “Limited Liability” of the corporation.  Maybe we need a “Fully Liable” corporation, who would sign up for that?  Wether we sign up for it or not, it is the reality of living on Earth. Ultimately, we are all “fully liable” for how we live, for how we treat this gift of life.  

There has always been a cost of doing this business of living, the question is, can we any longer afford “the way of plunder”?

 

Sandia Bear hair study mis-reported by Journal

The article last Monday in the ABQ Journal confused the number of years this study has been going, giving this data more credit than it currently deserves.  This is the first year of the study in the Sandia Mts., while it has been going for three years in other mountain ranges of NM. The article stated that this the third year in the Sandias as well, but that just isn’t true.  I’ve been participating in this study, along with 9 other groups/agencies, and the data is just now coming in for our first year (2014).

This is important because for Game and Fish to increase the bear hunt in the Sandia Mts. based on one year’s worth of data is just wrong.

Read the Journal article here: Bear-kill boost upsets critics | Albuquerque Journal News.

California Bans Bobcat Trapping in 3-2 Vote

Read the article from KCET here: California Bans Bobcat Trapping in 3-2 Vote. Bobcats are one of our “focal species” here at Pathways, because, even though they are a smaller, “mezzo-predator”, and don’t range as far and wide as our other focal species, we have included them because of the hunting/trapping pressure being put on them for the fur business.  Being “common” is no protection for an animal, as most of the animals now extirpated were once “common”. Humans have literally become the balance of nature over the past century (especially), deciding which animals will live, in how many numbers, and which are not worth our trouble; but we are still confounded by “invasive species” and those we consider pests. We’re trying to control this ship yet, and we must try, but I don’t think anyone can or really ever has.  Nature is a beautiful thing when she is in balance, and everyone has a chance to be who they are.  But now, we’re drowning in human beings, nature is something “out there” or far away, and we don’t even know what animals are really here for. So yea for California, but lets think about what a bobcat is, all of the other plants and animals that make it possible for this mid-size cat to be in the hills, and at last, where do we fit in?

Polar Bears fry on the “back burner”

What’s the future of polar bears? Studies say they may soon be extinct.

This article from the Christian Science Monitor describes the sad fate of polar bears, who are being left to die in a melting Arctic Sea by the US Fish&Wildlife Service.  When are “responsible” government agencies going to become  ~ responsible?