Los Cedros Documentary nearing completion

The 20 minute documentary film “Los Cedros” is nearing completion.

It showcases the breathtaking biodiversity of Reserva Los Cedros in Ecuador, the many threats the 16000 acre reserve presently faces and what is being done to protect it.

The incredibly talented Beatrice Lewis from Melbourne is composing an original score for the film.

A release date is yet to be confirmed, but reelmotive supporters will be the first to be notified.

In the meantime, feel free to enjoy the five Los Cedros promo videos currently uploaded to the reel gallery.

 

Wildlife camera footage is now available

Cedar-TreeHi folks,

After five weeks of difficult weather conditions, technical glitches and illegal logging occurring within earshot of some of our best camera locations, we have finally been able to upload several new video reels from the Reserva Los Cedros in North West Ecuador.

Despite our best efforts, we must report that the jaguar still eludes us, and from local reports they may have been hunted to near extinction in this part of Ecuador. This is largely due to the jaguar’s capacity to attack domestic stock animals that increasingly impinge on its rapidly disappearing habitat. Sadly, what constitutes a “flagship” or “keystone” conservation species in Western countries, can be locally considered a “pest” animal that hunters are paid bounties to kill.

The last confirmed sighting of a jaguar near Reserva Los Cedros was on the back of a pick up truck circa 1985, having been shot for a $1000 bounty due to its extensive livestock predation. This reportedly enormous jaguar had boldly killed numerous large bulls, mules (included some from Reserva Los Cedros itself) and other farm animals like dogs, before being killed by bounty hunters on the bequest of a large cattle ranch owner in the district.

We have issued a small bounty for images of what might have been the last known jaguar of Los Cedros.

Despite this sad news, we remain ever hopeful that our wildlife cameras and regular hikes into the cloud forests of Los Cedros may discover evidence of these majestic animals once again. We are planning to relocate several cameras into the remotest and most difficult-to-access parts of the reserve that border the 450000 acre wilderness area known as the Cotocachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve. Despite this wilderness area also facing a growing threat from illegal logging, the ecological reserve still hosts the last remaining viable population of jaguars in Western Ecuador. Again, we are optimistic that jaguars from this massive roadless wilderness area, might on occasion, pay a visit to the Los Cedros trail network. Fingers crossed.

For now, we can confidently say that despite the lack of jaguars at Los Cedros, the reserve itself appears in great shape, hosting a healthy population of top predators like mountain lions, smaller wildcats (such as ocelots and margays) and an abundance of their preferred prey species like agoutis, pacas, armadillos, monkeys and deer.

Please visit our reel gallery for a small sample of some of the incredible creatures captured by the wildlife cameras many of you have helped to purchase.

mountain-lion

Once again, thanks for helping us make this project a reality.

More videos, including a short documentary about the
reelmotive project at Los Cedros  are still to come, so stay
tuned for future updates.

For the Earth,

Laura & David

Los Cedros Wildlife Camera Update #1

margay-small

After 18 days of camera operations we have been fortunate enough to have captured several rare and threatened mammal species on the six Los Cedros project cameras positioned across three sites.

Thus far we have captured video and/or stills images of:

Mountain Lion (or Puma) – Listed as Vulnerable
Margay (medium size wild cat) – Listed as Vulnerable
Tayra (large carnivorous weasel)
Agoutis
Nine-banded Armadillos
Red-tailed Squirrels
Numerous ground birds, such as the White-throated Quail Dove
Pacas (very large rodent)
Marsupial Opossum

As yet there are no scats, tracks or signs of the elusive Jaguar but plenty of its preferred prey. Sadly, the last sighting of these top predators occurred in the 1990′s, having been hunted by locals following attacks on livestock. We believe jaguars may still be found in the remote northern section of the reserve that abuts the massive Cootachi-Cayapas Ecological Wilderness Reserve. This wilderness area is a known refuge for Jaguars.

Due to an extremely slow and unreliable internet connection we have been unable to post hi-res pictures and videos. A full upload will occur once we can access a faster internet connection back in Quito in a month or so from now. Until then, text updates will be forthcoming every week or so…

Thanks again to everyone who has supported this project.

For the Earth,

Laura & David

mountain-lion-small

environmental films