My name is Juan Camacho, and I am a master's student in the Collins Plant Ecology Lab at the University of New Mexico. My research focuses on using camera traps to study the timing of mammal visitation to water at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge.
When I'm not working I like to go hiking with my dog, play board games with friends, and play tennis.
For my master's thesis I am using camera traps to study the timing of mammal visitation to water in a semi-arid grassland. My study site is at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. These cameras were deployed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2009 at a variety of sites on the refuge. Artificial sources of water are supplied year-round for animals. Since this is a water limited area, I am interested in how the timing of visitation shifts throughout the year and if there are any interactions between species that may be cause by the water sources.
A puma passing by the camera
A badger inspects the drinker in the winter
Plot showing timing of visitation to water by mammal species at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. All show a peak in visitation to water in the summer months when conditions are at their hottest and driest.
Over the past two years, I have been working with two other graduate students to collect data on lizard communities. Our goal is to lay the framework for long-term monitoring of lizard communities at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Lizards are important secondary consumers in food webs and have been linked to primary productivity in other systems. Through collaborations with the UNM Biology REU program, we conducted visual encounter surveys of lizards at the core sites in 2019, 2020, and 2021. We have found that lizard communities at each site were distinctly different from each other. Each site had a clear dominant species from the whiptail genus Aspidoscelis (in prep).
Eastern collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
Round-tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma modestum)
The goal of this project is to make museum data more accessible to the public through the creation of an interactive map displaying museum specimens across the United States. The data comes from the Museum of Southwestern Biology. Click on the links above to learn more about the collections there!