Roberto Pedraza is Technical Officer of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG), the Mexican conservation partner of World Land Trust (WLT). He sent us this report of a walk on the wild side.
On 19 August 2015, we made a surveillance trip to the Agua del Guayamé reserve. Although purchased with the support of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, it is quite close to the Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz reserve, which is supported by WLT, and it is protecting another very valuable piece of the still big and wild forest of Sierra Gorda.
Guiding us was Javier, one of GESG’s rangers and finding the trail was difficult even for him. It is good to see that there is no longer any sign of loggers present in the area. It’s quite a special cloud forest, as you can see in the photo, with big cypress, oak and firs in a cold and damp climate. They were all clad in bromeliads, and there were salamanders using them as high rise apartments, for sure.
At the top of the trail there is a spring, with the best water. And on arriving there we heard a lot of noise up in the canopy: a large group of coatimundis was having lunch, eating the new leaves and cores of the bromeliads, something I have never seen before.
On the way back, Javier and I almost stepped on a chunky rattlesnake (whom I guess had just had a nice rat for lunch). Nice and gentle as rattles are, you can’t be too careful, so we took a few pics from a safe distance before it went on its way. Even though it is rarer every day, it’s so nice to visit those havens, where you can still hear the silence – and the wildlife enjoys a good lunch.
Funding is needed to purchase and protect more areas within GESG’s Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve to ensure this unique habitat and its diverse wildlife remain protected. Funding is also needed to guarantee WLT’s Keepers of the Wild programme until 2020.