Join Roberto Pedraza in the remote wilds of Mexico as he spends the day photographing the local wildlife that he is committed to protecting
Roberto Pedraza, technical officer for World Land Trust (WLT) partner Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG), is a keen wildlife photographer. He recently spent a day in his hide – dubbed his office – on the El Jagüeycito reserve, a 308 acre (125 hectare) piece of land recently funded by WLT to extend GESG’s network of reserves in the Sierra Gorda region of central Mexico. Roberto’s particular reason for spending the day in his hide on the El Jagueycito reserve was to hopefully photograph Curassows, a bird species from the Cracid family. Cracids are game birds, formerly abundant from the southern border of Texas to northern Argentina; however their populations have declined dramatically due to overhunting for food and habitat loss. This is a conservation concern particularly as their role as seed dispersers makes them vital to the ecological health of the tropical forests. Roberto said: “I spent all day waiting for the Curassows, but they didn’t show up – that´s wildlife photography!” Despite not seeing the elusive Curassows, Roberto had a wonderful day in a very wild place, and was even joined in his hide by a huge green Luna Moth with 20 centimetre tails. He spotted plenty of other interesting wildlife, including two pairs of the endemic Red-crowned Parrot. The parrot is native to Mexico and listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
White tailed Deer
This female White-tailed deer was photographed by Roberto from his hide at the reserve. He said: “She must have a powerful sense of smell as she was able to smell me even through the blind of my hide”
During the day in his hide, Roberto also spotted this Turkey Vulture feeding on two dead Coatimundis. He said: “The poor guys had probably been killed by a Puma or a Jaguar.”
On a separate occasion Roberto photographed this Wild Turkey in the El Jagüeycito reserve in the Sierra Gorda Mountains. This is possibly the first photo-record of a Wild Turkey in the state of Querétaro, central Mexico. Once common in this mountain range, Wild Turkeys were almost completely wiped-out decades ago through over hunting. Finally, their numbers are now slowly increasing.