They are rarely seen, but we know jaguars and ocelots are in our wilderness areas because they have taken their own pictures on remote motion-sensitive cameras set up by the University of Arizona Jaguar Project.
In the words of Pinau Merlin, who will discuss these spotted cats in a talk at the Arizona Senior Academy at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 5), “Their mystery, beauty and power evoke a sense of awe in us, even if we only see them in a photograph.”
Merlin’s talk may ask more questions than it answer about these elusive cats. Little is known about the range, hunting and feeding habits, or daily activities of these powerful jaguars or the smaller and more delicate ocelots.
As Outreach Coordinator for the Jaguar Education Project, Merlin works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Arizona. She has taught natural history and has written extensively about the ecology of the Sonoran Desert. She has been featured in Smithsonian and in National Wildlife magazines and has appeared on PBS and NPR.
When Merlin describes her many experiences with animals and plants in wilderness areas, she says she has to learn the language of the wild. “My many experiences with wildlife include walking up on a sleeping mountain lion, being whacked in the head by an elf owl, sharing my home with spotted skunks, ringtails and a family of canyon wrens, and receiving a proposal of marriage from a roadrunner.”Click here.[/box]