A change of scene; jungles
I have just got back from a short (too short!) trip to Costa Rica. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this world famous eco destination but I decided to bring my camera trap with me on the off chance I would be given permission to set it up and capture something new, for me anyway.
My time was split between two distinct ecosystems, lowland rainforest of the Caribbean slope and dry forest of the Guanacaste/Nicoya peninsular. I stayed in protected areas and reserves so the chances of mammal activity was there, unfortunately I had only two or three days in each place which limited the chances of capturing anything somewhat. Hardly scientific I know but I was curious to see what might be out and about after I was tucked up in bed.
Now I am used to the African bushveld, a dry-ish, semi wooded, semi open grassland environment with a sandy substrate. It is easy to see where animals are frequently passing from trampled vegetation and tracks. Placing camera traps and getting results was not too hard. Costa Rica’s rainforests on the other hand was a challenge. The vegetation was thick, lush and resilient to animal passage and finding tracks in the dense leaf litter was impossible. Costa Rica’s dry forests where just as bad. It was the dry season and the trees had lost all their leaves…big leaves that made a thick carpet on the ground covering any tracks and trails.
Needless to say I did not get too many results but taking my time frame and lack of local knowledge into account it is amazing that I got anything. All the animals were at least new to me so gave me a great buzz.
Of the animals I captured peccaries, a type of pig where the most common in the rainforest followed by crab eating raccoons in the dry coastal forests. I captured 1 agouti, 1 paca, 1 probable grison devouring my camera and the most exciting of all an ocelot. Typically the ocelot was the very first capture on the first night. Staying at the Selva Verde lodge I had the help of the resident guide, Ivan and we placed the camera near to the river. I think he was just as thrilled as I was to get an ocelot despite their being the most common of the neo tropical cats.
I hope you enjoy this short video clip, you can see if you look closely that the ocelot is carrying something in its mouth, prey?
Whatever it’s carrying seems to have a bright tapetal reflex – it couldn’t be carrying a kitten, could it?