Friday, December 11, 2009

On the Prowl

I've had such a great time over the last day or so, going through all the camera trap photos Ben has taken around Chan Chich Lodge during the past year. It was like seeing an old friend to recognize "Prowler," a male jaguar that was photographed near Chan Chich Lodge in January. Even though he was only half in the frame, there is no doubt it was him.

Prowler was easily recognizable by the distinctive "3" near his spine, marked with a red arrow. Spotted cats have unique patterns in the same way our fingerprints are unique. If you spend a little more time comparing the spot pattern with the inset photo, you can see we have a match.

The inset photo was taken on 10 May 2005 (8:38AM) during one of my jaguar density studies in the Gallon Jug Estate. Prowler was photographed 23 times during April-May 2005, 10-15 km north of Chan Chich Lodge. He was a big, healthy looking male then, so I would estimate he was at least 2 years old ... making him at least 6 years old now. In the prime of life. Judging from his robust condition in the recent photo, he's been doing very well indeed in Gallon Jug.

You're wondering how he got his name? A family who donated to our conservation project had the honor of naming him.

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