Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Pumas or jaguars?
So do we have more pumas or jaguars here at Gallon Jug/Chan Chich? This is a question I've been asking myself recently. Pumas seem to be the most frequently photographed cat now, even more so than ocelots. And they seem to be photographed more frequently in low light situations that trigger the infra-red mode.
It would be easier to make a statement about puma numbers if individuals could be distinguished with any confidence, the way spotted cats can. My gut feeling is that the puma population has exploded, along with the white-tailed deer population in Gallon Jug near the farm.
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) thrive in the edge areas, between the farm and the forest. Pumas specialize in hunting deer while jaguars are more specialized for peccary. White-tailed deer are visible any time of day or night in Gallon Jug and often along the road edges at Chan Chich. And as many readers can attest, they've become pests in many places in north America, with no pumas or other predators to reduce their numbers.