Our camera traps reveal what iguanas and cats are up to
Tenemos una versión en español aquí
September is the most active week in the hurricane season, and this week did not let us down. It rained, it quaked and it thundered. We had a tropical storm named Karen and we had seismic movements of up to 6.0mww in magnitude.
Luckily our experiment in Juana Diaz is still in its place though unfortunately our Gurabo field site is still not off the ground. We want to start the project there on Wednesday, so please cross every finger you have so that it might work out!
Ok, let's move on now to the news for this week... there aren't that many. But, but, but, there are a lot of photos. I emptied out 192.0GB of data from our six #Foxelli camera traps. I'll share with you what I've been able to observe in the photos.
I am happy and a tiny bit calmer about the experiment because there are green iguanas in our camera trap photos. I don't think we will observe a devastating or strong effect on our yield due to herbivory by the lizards, but this doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Our pictures show us that is does.
I guess I shouldn't haven been surprised by this, but I was. There is a cat, at night, in the middle of a rather large farm. Cats are an important problem to the conservation of biodiversity throughout the globe. A study done in the United States revealed that cats kill an estimated 3.7 BILLION birds annually. Our camera traps have shown us that the green iguana is not the only invasive species visiting our plots.
We were also able to observe the effectiveness of our mesh fences. An iguana was stuck in the fence and unfortunately died. Our plan if an iguana got stuck in the fence was to remove it and let it go, but since we were not able to access our plot due to the storm, we were not able to save it.
Although I now have over two thousand photos to study, I am happy that our observations of damage by green iguanas have some evidence to support that the damage is indeed caused by these lizards. I'm still skeptic about it though, but I'm at least 77.7% convinced that a cucumber plant with damage like the one you see above is caused by a hungry iguana like the one in the video bellow.
Until the next week!