Tortuguero National Park (TNP) in Costa Rica is a prime turtle nesting area and critical jaguar habitat. Sadly, due to poaching and habitat destruction, many of these species are in rapid decline. This project will fund the patrol teams who monitor the beaches and forest to protect this vital area. We will also provide key resources to our local partners so that they can better do their protection and conservation work.
Illegal activities in TNP can be significantly reduced through a consistent patrolling presence. In their 10 year tenure in Jalova, GVI Costa Rica has reduced poaching activity in a 3-mile section of TNP to almost zero. Unfortunately, the volunteer workforce can't cover the entire 15 miles & park ranger resources are inconsistent, so poaching and hunting rates are still prolific in other areas of the park. As a result, turtles and jaguars are in decline due to our impact on their ecosystem.
Through research over the last 10 years, we understand the critical nature of the park habitat to both turtles and jaguars. By working with the park rangers, we understand that providing more fuel and food resources will enable a more comprehensive protection strategy and allow extra patrolling measures. There is still so much that we don't understand about jaguar/ turtle dynamics, so research is also critical so we can understand their behavior & dynamics to protect them even better.
With adequate funding, TNP can be fully monitored year-round by a bigger team. This additional manpower allows the canals, forests and beaches to be better protected and poachers to be apprehended. As a result, the animal populations of the national park can flourish, as has been shown by existing monitoring practices. By providing resources for research equipment, we can also work on gathering more data on the dynamics between the turtles and jaguars.
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