Motion-triggered cameras show us some unexpected behavior from night life on the wild side.

"We got cats!"

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

This pic of a jaguar's butt, taken by a motion-triggered camera over a decade ago, told a group of wildlife conservationists exactly where they could find jaguars.

That was the beginning of the Northern Jaguar Project, a group that now runs a 50,000-acre reserve dedicated to helping protect the big cats.

Since then, they've collected a lot of great photos of the whole animal.


A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

This gorgeous jaguar is a male named Osman.

Cameras continue to be really important. The group pays ranchers near the reserve in northern Mexico for photos of live jaguars — the same amount they used to be paid for a dead jaguar.

Since a jaguar's idea of a good meal is baby calf, ranchers aren't used to seeing them in a friendly way. In the past, both the U.S. and Mexican governments supported systematic extermination of jaguars by paying people for their skins.

But now, since the same jaguar can be photographed many times, a live jaguar becomes worth a heck of a lot more than a dead one. And over time, ranchers working with the NJP are learning to live with the cats and have come around to seeing the cats as part of a healthy working landscape.

The motion-triggered cameras have also captured all kinds of animal shenanigans. (Be prepared for jaguars getting it on.)

A video posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

If you are into growing the jaguar population, this is really exciting stuff. (Do you think they know about the camera?)

Like, since when do skunks chase foxes?

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on


And what exactly is that mountain lion going to do with that gourd?

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

Let's see, we have a badger carrying a toad, a mountain lion carrying a gourd, and a jaguar carrying a rabbit. OK, well at least that last one makes sense.

Hey, handsome!

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on
A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on


Clearly, these cameras are great at giving us a more intimate and personable sense of some of the wild animals in northern Mexico.

On a more serious note, the conservationists' work is incredibly important for us here in the U.S.: We pretty much no longer have jaguars.

We recently killed off one of the very last of our wild jaguars (thanks to the very people charged with protecting them). In the past, jaguars were present in one continuous population from California, Arizona, and New Mexico all the way south to Venezuela. Although the Feds recently set aside land in Arizona for jaguars, barriers like the giant steel wall we've recently built along the U.S.-Mexico border present a serious threat.

The border wall between Arizona and Sonora has been really hard on wildlife in the area that are accustomed to moving freely in search of food and water. Image by Northern Jaguar Project, used with permission.

Thanks to the Northern Jaguar Project, at least some people are keeping an eye on the big picture.

The folks at NJP say that when the border wall comes down (just like the Berlin wall did), then they will have saved a healthy group of jaguars that can eventually move in and repopulate U.S. wilderness.

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

Jaguar guardian Javier Valenzuela checks a motion-triggered camera with his ranch hand and friend, Avery.

Until that border wall comes down though, they're working with local people to create a beautiful, biodiverse home for some of the most gorgeous (and occasionally goofy) creatures on earth.

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

The Northern Jaguar Reserve, a 50,000-acre sanctuary for the world's northernmost jaguar population in Sonora, Mexico.

Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less