Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A herd of white-lips
I love these guys. Not for their, uh, beauty, but because white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) are a good indicator species of intact tropical forest. They travel in large herds, sometimes 50 or more animals, and require vast forested areas to survive. Radio-collaring has shown that peccaries are a favorite prey species of the jaguar which follows them. Unfortunately, the fact that they do occur in herds makes them very vulnerable to hunting since they tend to group together instead of flee when threatened. That's a good strategy when fending off a jaguar ... but not so great with a well armed human hunter who could potentially wipe out an entire herd in a few minutes.
This is another of Ben's photos taken near the Lodge in July 09. It's just one of a series from this particular herd who proved to be quite curious about the camera. Their presence is testament to a large, and well protected forest here in Gallon Jug Estate. And that makes me very glad to see them here indeed.