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Yalbac Wildlife Monitoring

Jan Meerman 2015

The Yalbac forest (Figure 1: Location) currently covers approximately 162,160 acres (65,625 ha) and is contiguous with the 27,950 acre (11,3103 ha) Gallon Jug estate, the 105,260 acre (42,600 ha) Laguna Seca LLC, and the approximately 260,000 acres (106,000 ha), of the RBCMA (plus the 15,750 acres or 5,970ha of the smaller Aguas Turbias National Park, the Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary) and the 9,200 acre (3,720 ha) Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary, this Belizean forest block in its turn is contiguous with that of Calakmul in Mexico and the Maya Biosphere Reserves in Guatemala and thus creating a forest bloc of at least 4 million acres (1.6 million ha), the largest remaining forest area in Central America (Figure 2).As such, the Yalbac has been assessed as an important area

to maintain biological connectivity, diverse landscapes and as a repository for endangered or threatened species (Meerman et al 2000, Meerman 2005).

In 2010/2011, the Yalbac area was hit hard by the effects of Hurricane Richard and subsequent wildfires.

The Yalbac is jointly owned by Yalbac Belize LLC and Heartwood Forestland Fund of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Yalbac's primary operations relates to the management and harvest of approximately 20 commercial timber species for local and export markets. Yalbac is one of the first Belizean operations FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified in its management of the forest resources and as such sawn timber from Yalbac is marketable across the globe even in the most regulated eco-sensitive countries relating to conservation principals.

As part of the FSC certification, Yalbac has initiated a wildlife monitoring program in order to verify that the timber operations do not negatively affect the endangered and/or sensitive species that naturally occur in the area. Monitoring has started in early 2013 and is still being expanded.

The main focus is on sensitive fauna elements which are most efficiently being monitored by permanently operating a number of wildlife camera's. Currently there are 12 camera's and a selection of pictures taken by these is presented here (click on an image to enlarge).

Between May 2013 and November 2013, 1,231 wildlife events have thus been recorded belonging to 26 mammal species, 16 bird species and two reptiles. But the number is growing. Here are pictures up to May 30, 2015. The sequence is more or less by date. Youngest pictures are on top.

A whole cluster of eyes! Mother Opossum with babies on her back.
Ruddy Quail Dove
Great Curassow Females are always fascinated by the cameras
Ocellated Turkey Courting
Paca (known as Gibnut in Belize)
Puma
Great Tinamou
Ocelot
Tapir with juvenile
Jaguarundi
Tapir with juvenile
Jaguarundi
Margay
Jaguar
Margay
Jaguar
White-lipped Peccary
Collared Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
Collared Peccary
White Hawk
Tamandua
White Hawk
Tamandua (Anteater)
Ocellated Turkey with chicks
Crested Guan
Ocellated Tureky mother with chicks
Crested Guan
Ocelot
Crested Guans
Ocelot
Crested Guans - close up
Puma defacating
Puma
A few months ago I asked "Does a mountain lion crap in the woods?", and yes again...they do! Several researcher have mentioned that Mountain Lions react to cameras by defecating in front of them!
Another Puma or Mountain Lion
Jaguar
Jaguar
This Jaguar walked under the camera
And then plonked down
Jaguar
Jaguar
Was this also a reaction to the camera?
He stayed no more than a minute
Tapir
Margay
Tapir walking under the camera
Margay walking under the camera
White-lipped Peccary
Jaguar with tail missing
White-lipped Peccary
Jaguar with missing tail. This is an individual that has been seen in the area for some years now. Three years ago it still had a tail (pers.com. Marcella Kelly)
Puma enters
Puma enters the scene
2nd Puma follows
Seconds later, nr 2 enters
Puma attacks first Puma
Attack!
Hightailed victorious Puma
High-tailed victory! Territorial fight or just play?
Full screed White-tailed Deer
Full filed view of White-tailed Deer Buck
Chachalaca family
Chachalaca family
Tamandua
Tamandua (anteater)
Great Tinamou
Great Tinamou.
Crested Guan
Crested Guan
Margay
Margay
Collared Peccary
Collared Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
Tapir
Tapir
Tapir
Sure, lick the lens!
Jaguarundi
Jaguarundi. Probably the rarest cat in Yalbac

 

Puma
Alex
Two pumas
Someone in a clean shirt using a machette
Tarantula
Multispecies: Dee and Currasow
As always; some unexpected results, see the tarantuala at the bottom left corner?
Multispecies: White-tailed Deer and Currasow
Collared Peccaries
Ocelot
Collared Peccary
Ocelot

 

Spidermonkey
Its unusual to get non-human primates on the camera. Here a female Black-handed Spidermonkey(Ateleles geoffroyi with young
Spidermonkey
Here probably the same female Black-handed Spidermonkey(Ateleles geoffroyi with young. This section of the forest has been heavilly impacted by Hurricane Richard and subsequent wildfires. It was actually thought that Spidermonkeys would have been locally extirpated from this location, but these pictures actually provide hope for a recovery of the species.
Bracken
No animal here but the light spot on the bottom right is a shoot of Bracken fern (Pteridium caudatum) that is growing up in front of the camera lens. Note the time. It's 4.59 PM (but time stamp not correct)
Bracken
Next day 10.33 AM, 18 hours later. The shoot has already past the field of view of the camera
Bracken
More fern growing up in front of the lens (always bad), look at the small shoot at the middle bottom
Bracken
22.5 hr later
Bracken
27 hr after the previous picture
Bracken
Another 24 hr later the shoot is out of the field of view.

 

Jaguar
Striped Hog-nosed Skunk
Jaguar
Striped Hog-nosed Skunk
Does a mountain lion crap in the woods?
Mahogany researchers
Does a mountain lion crap in the woods?
Mahogany researchers
Collared Peccary
Central American Tapir
Collared Peccary
Central American Tapir
Margay
Fawn
Margay
a-seasonal deer fawn
Puma
Puma
2 Puma's approach camera
2 Puma's continue
Puma
Puma
First Puma starteled by the infrared flash
If you freak out, I better do the same!
Puma
Puma
Back where we started
What the hell was that?
Great Curassow
Coyote
Great Curassow Males
Coyote
Agouti
Deppei's Squirrel
Agouti
Deppei's Squirrel
Ocelot
White-nosed Coati
Ocelot
White-nosed Coati
Roadside Hawk
Slaty-breaste Tinamou
Roadside Hawk
Slaty-breasted Tinamou
Gray Fox
Red Brocket Deer
Gray Fox
Red Brocket-Deer
Great Black Hawk
Central American Tapir
Great Black Hawk
Central American Tapir
Ocelot
Central American Tapir
Ocelot
Central American Tapir
Central American Tapir
White-tailed Deer
Central American Tapir
White-tailed Deer female
Jaguar
Hummingbird
Jaguar
White-breasted Emerald (Hummingbird)

 

Puma
Puma
Staff Member
Yalbac Staff
Tayra
Tayra
White-lipped Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
White-lipped Peccary
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer, Male
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer Male

 

Morelet's Crocodile
Plain Xenops
Morelet's Crocodile
Plain Xenops
Ocelot
Ocelot
Ocelot
Ocelot
Puma
Jaguar

Puma

Jaguar
Tayra
White-tailed Deer
Tayra
White-tailed Deer Male
Agouti
Paca
Agouti
Paca
Ocelot
Gray Fox
Ocelot
Gray Fox
Racoon
Puma
Racoon
Puma
Red Brocket Deer
Ocelot
Red Brocket Deer
Ocelot
White Hawk White-tailed Deer
White Hawk
White-tailed Deer. Note clawmarks on back!

 

Great Curassow
Great Curassow females
Central American Tapir
Central American Tapir
Great Curassow
Unusual light female morph of Great Curassow
Gray Fox
Gray Fox
Ocellated Turkey
Ocellated Turkey
Margay
Margay
Puma
Puma
Ocellated Turkey
Ocellated Turkey
Jaguar
Jaguar
Central American Tapir
Central American Tapir
Great Curassow
Great Curassow. Males

 

Great Black Hawk
Blue Ground Dove
Great Black Hawk
Blue-ground Dove
Great Curassow
Puma
Great Curassow. Male
Puma
Puma
Jaguar
Puma
Jaguar
Jaguar
Ocellated Turkey
Jaguar
Ocellated Turkey
Jaguarundi
Hognosed Skunk
Jaguarundi
Hognosed Skunk
Great Black Hawk
Ocelot
Great Black Hawk Juvele
Ocelot very close to the camera
Crested Guan
Ocelot
Crested Guan Family
Ocelot
Red-Brocket Deer
Ocellated Turkey
Red Brocket-Deer
Ocellated Turkey

 

 

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Last modified: June 26, 2015