Hidden camera captures images of at least 13 native species t in the hills of Chapala
Although the eMammal International photo project ended in 2015, local woman maintains the camera and posts photos to record and preserve local fauna
Pumas have been sighted in the hills of the municipality.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- A hidden motion-activated camera placed on different hills in the municipality of Chapala by the eMammal International project, -since 2014- has helped document at least 13 native species in the area.
The camera recorded images of jaguarundi, gray fox, rabbits, tlacuaches, cacomixtle (an omnivorous mammal similar to the raccoon,) rabbits, coyotes, four types of skunks, peccaries or collared peccaries, deer and raccoons, according to Isabel Orendain, director of the project, a part the «Museum Connect» international program. Museum Connect was a collaboration between the Museum of Paleontology of Guadalajara, the Museum of Natural Sciences of North Carolina and a museum in Mumbai, India that ended in 2015 in the municipality of Chapala.
But Isabel Orendain, has continued to monitor the camera in the hills of Chapala the past seven years in order to raise awareness about the rich ecosystem of Chapala. She posted photos on her social networks in the first half of January documenting the great diversity of fauna in Chapala, despite habitat destruction by real estate developers in the area.
«It is important that the new generations know about the natural wealth we have, we must prioritize its protection as a treasure», Orendain told Laguna.
She said that at the beginning of the project nine cameras were located in various parts of Mexico, one of which was located in Chapala. Currently the cameras in Chapala, Tapalpa, Ixtlahuacán del Río and the Bosque de la Primavera are active and their photos are uploaded to a database belonging to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., United States, as a permanent record of the fauna in the area.
Deer have also been captured by the cameras.
Orendain recalled that two years ago she worked with students from the Octavio Paz Institute who would retrieve the camera at the site where it had been placed so that local children could see the records of the animals. The eMammal International program was designed to enable children between 10 and 15 years of age from several countries to identify and have a record of the animal activity in other parts of the world.
Orendain welcomes people who want to get involved in the project. Anyone interested can contact her through her Facebook page (Isabel Orendain) where they can also learn more about the fauna that inhabits the hills of Chapala and its towns.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan