Subir Ghosh | Saturday, February 15, 2014
“Anteaters and Jaguars of Serrado”
During breakfast at Jaguar Conservation Fund (JCF) in Serrado, Brazil, the boss, Dr. Leandro informed us that White Collar Peccaries were captured in a pen-trap made by us, consisting of Linda, Alison, Virginia, Fiona, Dave Nardine and myself. Excitedly Dr. Ana,Dr. Natalia and us went to the site. Leandro, managed to catch an adult with a sturdy butterfly net like object and Ana expertly put a radio collar round it.
We the volunteers had our jobs cut out: to repair and construct new peccary pens, to check and replace camera traps, collect scat with help from Toupa, the scat dog and within JCF, feed the resident animals, clean their pens, type all animal sighting information on computer.
We were lucky to see many exotic animals such as Armadillo, Tapir, Capibara, maned wolf, crab eating fox and birds, such as Toko Toucan, Blue yellow Macaw, Rhea, Caracara, burrowing owl. Most exciting was sighting of a giant Anteater. We had lost all hope of seeing one when on the last day while returning from our trip inside Emas National Park we caught sight of one. Leandro stopped the jeep and ran around it so that the animal came closer to us. It was an adorable soft toy!
The Earthwatch experience was remarkable. I made new friends, learnt new things (managing a GPRS) , saw exotic animals in their natural habitat. Apart from directly helping Jaguars, JCF is creating awareness among the landowners about conservation of the Serrado grassland. I feel proud to be an Earthwatcher