A visit to Summit Park (Parque Municipal Summit) Pt. 2
As we continued our visit to Parque Municipal Summit for a second day we arranged photo shoots to other magnificent mammals kept in captivity, the Jaguar and the Puma. Three jaguars are kept in the park after being rescued, and we were only able to photograph one of them called Darién. Two pumas, known as Tango & Cash are also captive in the park and I was able to get real close to one of them.
As usual we spent some time observing and photographing free wild animals around the park's ground too.
The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a felid, and the only Panthera species native to the Americas. It is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest feline in the Americas. The jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
While dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, the jaguar will range across a variety of forested and open terrains. It is strongly associated with the presence of water and is notable, along with the tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming. The jaguar is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain (an apex predator). It plays an important role in stabilising ecosystems and regulating the populations of the animals it hunts.
The jaguar is listed as a Near Threatened species by World Conservation Union (IUCN) and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. It is also frequently killed by humans, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers.
Cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known as the Mountain Lion or Puma is a large felid native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes, is the greatest of any wild land animal in the Americas. It is an adaptable, and generalist species found in most habitat types. It is the second-heaviest cat in the Americas, after the jaguar. It is secretive and largely solitary by nature, and crepuscular, being most active around dawn and dusk.
The IUCN currently lists the cougar as a Least Concern species but that doesn't mean it's not threatened. Conservation threats to the species include persecution as a pest animal, environmental degradation and habitat fragmentation, and depletion of their prey base. Wildlife corridors and sufficient range areas are critical to the sustainability of cougar populations.
The cougar hunting has been prohibited in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and Uruguay but unfortunately, regulated hunting is still common in the United States and Canada specially where it enters in conflict with livestock.
Roseate Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea) is a species of dragonfly native from the United States to Brazil. It is common and widespread. The male of the species has a rose pink and red abdomen. The female has an orange-brown abdomen with clear orange veins and a brownish thorax with a light stripe down the back. The wings are normally clear except for brown pterostigmata at the leading edges. It tolerates a wide range of habitat types, but usually requires open water. This can include disturbed and artificial water bodies, such as tanks and ditches. It can live in open or vegetated land. It breeds in mud.
We were able to hear a hawk calling so we approached it to get some photos, it was a juvenile Great Black Hawk, easily identifiable by its whistling call. Later, some mature hawks arrived at the same location, and given black-hawks are similar I had to identify them by sound. They were all calling at some point, both calls were heard (Common Black-Hawk too). For more information about these species you can visit our black hawks' post here.
Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga) - juvenile
Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga) - adult
Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) - adult
Young Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)
Variegated Squirrel (Sciurus variegatoides)
Giant Ameiva (Ameiva ameiva), also known as Green Ameiva, Ground Lizard, Giant Whiptail, and locally as "Borriguero". It is a species of lizard in the family Teiidae found in Central and South America and some Caribbean Islands. Giant ameiva live on the forest floor, often sheltering underneath logs and in leaf litter. The giant ameiva's diet consists of mainly insects, frogs, and spiders which it catches with the help of its slightly forked tongue.
Crimson-backed Tanager (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) - male
Skipper & Woolflower (Hesperiidae & Celosia sp.)
Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata), also called ostrich plume and pink cone ginger, are native Malaysian plants with showy flowers on long brightly colored red bracts. They look like the bloom, but the true flower is the small white flower on top. Red Ginger grows in Hawaii, Trinidad, Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Suriname and many Central American. It is also found in Samoa, where it is the national flower. It prefers partial shade and moist humid conditions, although it can tolerate full sun in some climates.
Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata)
In the bushes and trees we could observe several flycatchers. Kiskadees, Panama Flycatchers, Tropical Kingbirds and Social Flycatchers are all common in the park. If you want to know more about these species you can read our dedicated post here.
Panamanian Flycatcher (Myiarchus panamensis)
Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis)
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)