CINDAQ is pleased to announce a new project aimed at better understanding and appreciating the importance of cenotes to the mammals of the Yucatan Peninsula.
For this baseline study cameras are being installed in the entrance of remote cenotes where video and photographic images hope to catalog a wide range of animal speciels and capture their frequency and activities during cenotes visits.
The initial phase of the project is in collaboration with Associate Professor Karl Vernes from the School of Environmental and Rural Sciences at the University of New England, Australia. Further cameras have been donated by Dr Jim Sanderson through the Small Cat Conservation Alliance.
Dr. Vernes specializes in Conservation and ecology of mammals and has been conducting camera traping studies in Australia, Asia and North America.
The initial phase of the study is in cooperation with Manuel Orvananos from Fundación Selva Maya. The numerous cenotes on this preserve and our shared conservation goals make for an ideal match.
The project kicked off last week with the installation of 14 motion activated cameras at the entry of remote cenotes in order to document the range and frequency of individual local mammal species and documenting their activity.
These initial images will help to delineate the preferred methods, equipment and settings needed to expand the baseline monitoring to a wider range of remote cenotes and in further defining thescope and focus of data to be collected.
As was the case with CINDAQ's Cave Check program, we hope to enlist interested persons such as land owners, dry cavers and underwater cave divers to "adopt" cameras and help in the management of the cameras. Cost to adopt a camera US$290.00
The installation and downloading of cameras will also become a task for GUE trained cave divers participating in the bi-annual MCEP science project. The most remote cenotes can really only be accessed by experienced cave divers.
It is the hopes that the imagery and data collected will provide a data base to those working to understand and conserve the cenotes and related features here in Quintana Roo.