Camtrapping: The jaguar and the anteater

When you are doing a camera trap project in the Neotropical rainforest, a part of you expects to get all sorts of exotic wildlife, like big cats and fancy herbivores. Really, what you more often end up with, is a lot of rodents and the same deer species, with some birds and the occasional carnivore.

After a while camera trapping in pre-determined random places (science, go figure), you still pray that you'll get something large, new, and exciting, but at the same time have resigned to expecting the same species over and over, hoping that you'll at least catch an agouti with a funny pose or a brocket deer pulling a face.

Nonetheless, it's always great to look through the latest catch my camtraps have to offer. The locals who work with me (and whoever they may have been talking to about the camera traps) are equally fascinated to see the pictures, even if the animals are more familiar to them than to I. I realise that this is usually because they realise where they can now hunt the animals.

Yesterday I retrieved the last of the data from the secondary forest grid of my project, and was more than thrilled to see the photos below. A jaguar (a fat one at that!), Panthera onca, and a giant anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla. Even some locals I spoke to had to see the jaguar photo to believe it was so close (to somebody's finca). I expected that if I were ever to catch a shot of one, it would be during the primary forest part of my project.

Now all I need are some tapir photos and my life will be complete. Although, finishing my data collection on time would be nice as well!

Image 1 - Jaguar, Panthera onca. Camera trap picture taken in Payamino transitional forest.

Image 2 - Giant anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla. Camera trap picture from Payamino secondary forest.


  1. How far away from camp was this secondary forest? These are so cool!! The only mammal I ever saw was a rabbit...

    1. In a straight line, the anteater was photographed 3 km away and the jaguar about km away, if I recall correctly. However, you have to walk much farther than that to get to where the jaguar was, crossing the river, streams, marsh, going through forest without paths...

      It is uncommon to see other mammals other than rabbits and tamarins. I've seen squirrel monkeys, agoutis, and acouchies many times, Tamara's seen a giant anteater on the path near camp, Carly's seen a jaguarundi, Rachel's seen an armadillo... It's all out there! But you were here with a big group, which drastically reduces the chances of seeing mammals.

    2. oh, and i've seen a tayra jumping from tree to tree carrying it's baba! lots of squirrels

  2. Nice pics Xaali!!
    I've seen monkeys, agoutis, deer and armadillos... thought there might be jaguars, but WOW on the anteater!!

    Good work!!


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