What's Up UA? - Wildlife Monitoring Cameras Click Jaguar and Ocelot Photos - The Explorer: University Of Arizona

What's Up UA? - Wildlife Monitoring Cameras Click Jaguar and Ocelot Photos

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2012 5:20 pm

An adult male jaguar and an adult male ocelot have been photographed in two separate Southern Arizona mountain ranges by automated wildlife monitoring cameras. The images were collected as part of the Jaguar Survey and Monitoring Project led by the University of Arizona. Both animals appear to be in good health. 

 
In late November, the UA project team downloaded photos from wildlife cameras set up as part of the research project and found new pictures of a jaguar in the Santa Rita Mountains. A total of 10 jaguar photos were taken by three UA cameras and one Arizona Game and Fish Department camera. The cat’s unique spot pattern matched that of a male jaguar photographed by a hunter in the Whetstone Mountains in the fall of 2011, providing clear evidence that the big cats travel between Southern Arizona’s “sky island” mountain ranges. 
 
“We are very pleased about these photos,” said Lisa Haynes, who manages the research project and coordinates the Wild Cat Conservation and Research Center project. “I am proud of our field team and their incredible knowledge and capacity to place these cameras in the best locations to detect jaguar and ocelot movement.”
 
In September, a photo showing a jaguar tail was reported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department from a hunter’s automated wildlife monitoring camera in the Santa Rita Mountains. 
 
“None of the UA photos can be matched to this ‘tail photo’ because, in the new photos, the tail is obscured or the opposite side of the jaguar was photographed,” Haynes explained. “However, we believe the jaguar is most likely the same individual.”
 
In addition, a new ocelot photo was taken in the Huachuca Mountains west of Sierra Vista by one of the UA project cameras. Again, comparisons of the spot patterns revealed this to be the same male ocelot that has been reported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and photographed in the Huachucas several times in 2011 and 2012. However, the UA photo was taken about 4 miles away from the previous photos, demonstrating that even the smaller cats move across the rugged Arizona landscape.
 
The purpose of the UA research project is to establish a non-invasive, hands-off system for detecting and monitoring jaguars and ocelots. The project is using motion-sensor-activated “trail” cameras placed in areas where the spotted cats are most likely to be detected. Once fully operational, up to 240 paired cameras will be in place throughout the project area to capture images of both sides of detected animals.
 
Very little is known about these cats in the northern part of their range. The primary distribution of jaguars and ocelots, both known as Neotropical cats, ranges across Central and South America and Mexico. Both species occurred historically and recently in the southwestern United States, although in few numbers. Every new data point will add to the science and body of knowledge about their distribution and ecology in the southwestern U.S., which is why this project is so important.
 
The UA is conducting this large-scale project to detect and monitor jaguars and ocelots along the northern boundary of the U.S.-Mexico international border, from the Baboquivari Mountains in Arizona to the southwestern “boot heel” of New Mexico.
 
The researchers also are employing a specially-trained scat detection dog to assist the team in collecting potential jaguar and ocelot scat in the areas where a jaguar or ocelot has been detected by camera. The UA Conservation Genetics lab, under the leadership of Melanie Culver, U.S. Geological Survey geneticist in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment, will conduct genetic testing of the scat to verify species and possibly identify the individual cats. 
 
Culver, who is the project’s principal investigator, said: “What is exciting about this research project is the combination of techniques and skills, from the deep knowledge of our field people of how wild cats move around the landscape to cutting edge molecular-genetic analysis of the scats. We are particularly enthused about the potential information we may retrieve from the project’s trained scat detection dog that will certainly advance our understanding of these two wild cat species.”
 
In addition to obtaining the photos of jaguars and ocelots, the team will be assembling the most comprehensive photo data set of other wildlife in this region that has ever been done. With a photo processing system and computer program developed by one of the members, the researchers will gain an unprecedented understanding of the distribution, diversity and activity patterns of other species of wildlife, providing insight into jaguar and ocelot ecology and habits. 
 
“We are looking forward to closely analyzing these new photos with respect to other wildlife in the area,” Haynes said.
 
The three-year study will be accomplished under a contract with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The purpose of these funds is to address and mitigate environmental impacts of border-related enforcement activities.   
 
The ocelot has been protected in the U.S. as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1982. The jaguar was listed as endangered in the U.S. in 1997.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today: http://www.kinocollege.com/

Thursday 08/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Fall Enrollment Sets Record for Diversity, Number of Freshmen

Tuesday 08/19/2014

What's Up UA? - Remarkable Résumé: UA Student Journalist's Career Includes CNN, NYT Phoenix

Friday 08/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Through Innovative Partnership, 'Hot Shot' Team Tackles Yuma Produce Perils

Wednesday 08/13/2014

What's Up UA? - The UA Named a Top College by The Princeton Review

Monday 08/11/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Researchers Study Increasing Lifespan and Immune Function What's Up UA? - UA Undergrads Conducting Microgravity Research Aboard NASA's G-Force One

Monday 06/09/2014

What's up UA? - UA to Host U.S. and Mexico Officials Exploring Collaborations in Education, Innovation, Research

Thursday 06/05/2014

What's Up UA? - New Wilderness Medicine Class Hones Patient Care Skills in Rugged Conditions

Tuesday 06/03/2014

Track Cats Send Eight Athletes to TrackTown USA

Monday 06/02/2014

What's Up UA? - Bringing a Spacecraft Back From the Dead

Friday 05/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Heart Attack Patient Defies Odds with Tailored Surgical Treatment at UA Medical Center

Thursday 05/29/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Marketing Students Win National AT&T Competition

Tuesday 05/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Friday 05/23/2014

What's up UA? - Four UA Students Picked for Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarships

Wednesday 05/21/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Monday 05/19/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Tunnels Get Carbon Fiber Makeover

Thursday 05/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Earning a UA Degree, in a Grandfather’s Memory

Tuesday 05/13/2014

What's Up UA? - UA's Phoenix Cancer Center is 'Topped Off,' Joins Award-Winning Medical School Building

Thursday 05/08/2014

What's Up UA? - University of Arizona to Offer Nation’s First Bachelor of Arts in Law

Monday 05/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Combating Health Disparities to Build Healthier Communities

Wednesday 04/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists at the UA Make Critical End-Stage Liver Disease Discovery

Friday 04/25/2014

What's Up UA? - A Century-Long Track Record of Serving Arizona and Benefiting the State's Economy

Wednesday 04/23/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Opens Nation’s First Resource Center for Student Vets Studying Health Care UA Wildcat Instant Decision Days at PCC campuses April 29-May 2

Monday 04/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Scientists to Begin Construction on NASA Spacecraft that will Visit Asteroid in 2018

Thursday 04/10/2014

What's Up UA? - Spring Fling Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Return to UA Mall

Monday 04/07/2014

Mauga’s Walkoff Sweeps Stanford

Thursday 04/03/2014

What's Up UA? - 4-H Programs Bring Enrichment and Learning to Thousands in Arizona

Monday 03/31/2014

What's Up UA? - The Viruses You Don't Know About (Yet)

Tuesday 03/25/2014

What's Up UA? - Twice Torn Apart: A UA Alumna's Road to the Paralympic Games

Tuesday 03/18/2014

What's Up UA? - Tucson Village Farm Honored as Model Program for the Nation

Friday 03/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Several UA Graduate Programs Reach New Heights

Tuesday 03/11/2014

What's Up UA? - Olympics Interns Share Sochi Experiences

Friday 03/07/2014

What's Up UA? - Seeing Cancer Differently

Wednesday 03/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Offers Accelerated Bachelor's to Master’s Program in Environmental Health Sciences

Tuesday 03/04/2014

What's Up UA? - Third-Ranked Men's Basketball Heads to Corvallis to Face OSU

Friday 02/28/2014

What's Up UA? - UA College of Optical Sciences to Celebrate 50th Anniversary With Laser Fun Day

Thursday 02/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Obesity-Related Gut Bacteria Higher in People in Northern Climes

Monday 02/24/2014

Wildcats Sweep Sunday Doubleheader, Series From Alcorn State

Thursday 02/20/2014

What's Up UA? - First-Year UA Minority Student Retention Rate Highest Ever

Monday 02/17/2014

What's Up UA? - The Flu and You

Friday 02/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Miller to Add to Arizona’s USA Basketball Legacy

Wednesday 02/12/2014

What's Up UA? - $10M Gift to Optical Sciences is Largest Gift for Scholarships in UA History

Monday 02/10/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Study Shows Aggressive Management of Gunshot Wounds to Brain Significantly Increases Survival

Thursday 02/06/2014

Arizona Football Announces 2014 NLI Class

Tuesday 02/04/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Wind Quintet is Finalist in National Competition

Thursday 01/30/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Undergraduate Researcher Earns Prestigious National Award

Tuesday 01/28/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Renewed as a Tillman Foundation Partner

Thursday 01/23/2014

What's Up UA? - Thousands to Celebrate Chinese New Year at UA

Tuesday 01/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Mathematician Earns Presidential Early Career Award
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook

Online poll

Loading…