Friday, November 27, 2009

In July, Erik and Rhea gave us a wildlife camera to use on our property because Erik is trying to collect data about cats in this area, and the animals the cats eat. We've had the camera in a couple of different spots, and until the last two weeks we hadn't managed to shoot anything other than a couple of birds, a squirrel, and an agouti. Perhaps it's the cooler, wetter weather, but whatever the reason, we finally had some results in the past week and a half.

We think this is a ground mole, although it's difficult to see and if anybody has any better ideas, we're willing to listen. The animal is just outside the middle of the picture, towards 2:00.

This is a fox.

A chachalaca - sort of like a skinny wild chicken.

This is the hind end of some cat, either a jaguarundi, or possibly a black domestic cat we've seen around here.

We don't think this is big enough to be a jaguar, but we finally got a spotted cat!


Wilma said...

Exciting photos! Did you see that in the first photo there are 2 animals? They almost look like gibnut, but I think gibnut have spots. The spotted cat is very exciting. Let us know if you get a positive ID on it!


Marge & Tom Gallagher said...

Wilma, Thanks, we didn't see the 2nd until you pointed them both out. Might mean we need a better computer down here!

Terdal Farm said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing.
As for the cats, the dark one looks to me like a jaguarundi, but I could be tricked by the feral domestic cat. Please take a look at that one for us.
As for the spotted cat, the choices seem to be margay and jaguarundi. The latter are larger, but it is hard to get a sense of scale in a photo. One feature we do see is the relative tail length. Margays have a tail longer than the hind leg, while ocelots have a tail shorter than the hind leg. Based on that, I guess "ocelot." I'd like to read other opinions, though.

Moonracer Farm said...

Sharon Matola was just here and we made her look at the photos, and she said "Ocelot, without a doubt." On FB, a friend getting some sort of doctorate in animal studies also said ocelot, so that seems to be the general consensus. Sharon wasn't sure about the dark cat either.

Terdal Farm said...

Oops. I meant "ocelot" instead of "jaguarundi" in one instance in the paragraph about the spotted cat.

Terdal Farm said...

Sharon would definitely know. If she has doubts about the dark cat, that is definitive, too.

Roni Martinez said...

Hi Tom and Marge,

The animals on the first pic seem to me like Agoutis. The size, no spots and no tail, spell agoutis. A clearer pic would be decisive, but for now I would vote for agoutis.

That gray fox looks a bit sad. Maybe he wasn't lucky catching lunch?

The black felid seems to me like a feral cat. I have seen many Jaguarundi in the area, and they are all either rusty brown or light gray in color. Again a full photo of it could confirm it. Hopefully you get a better pic later on.

As for the spotted cat, definitely ocelot. Margays tend to have a tail almost as long as their body. I could be wrong, but looks just right for ocelot.

Camera setting tip:
Here at Blancaneaux we've been getting great photos by placing the cameras right beside the trail, facing the other side of the trail, and about 1.5 feet above ground. I notice that the camera you placed is facing the ground, rather than the other side of the trail. You might want to try this easy tip which has given us great results.

Also - if the camera is placed some 8 - 10 feet away from the middle of the trail, it gives even better results, as it has a wider area to pick up heat/motion from. Simply make sure that the area around the camera is chopped and free of any bush which might trigger the camera.

Let me know what else you get from around your area, I'm sure there is a Jaguar around, as i have seen it in your vicinity. I will try to stop by your place sometime and check out the site where you have the camera.

Roni Martinez
Blancaneaux Lodge