In addition to our aims to fund a patrol team to protect turtle nesting habitats GVI are heavily involved in a long term scientific research program aimed at aided conservation efforts and expanding knowledge on the importance of doing so.
Our research takes place in a remote spot at the southern end of Tortuguero National Park at the beginning of 2010. Tortuguero is justifiably famous for its globally important numbers of endangered marine turtles and GVI has been working with the Sea Turtle Conservancy for many years to help with the monitoring program of these amazing creatures (reports from this program can be found on the Sea Turtle Conservancy website - www.conserveturtles.org/costarica.php?page=season-reports). GVI have also been carrying out gruelling 15 mile ‘Jag-walks’ along the length of Tortuguero Beach each week to assess the extent of jaguar predation on the nesting turtles. This phenomenon, though not completely unique to Tortuguero National Park, is not being recorded and monitored to this degree anywhere else. A publication of these findings is due to be published soon.
Tortuguero also comprises of a significant terrestrial environment of winding canals and dense tropical forest the vast majority of which is inaccessible and unknown. GVI were given the opportunity to base themselves at the southern end of the National Park, just north of the Rio Jalova river mouth. Though humans have been present in the area for many years, nobody has ever conducted biological research in the area.
During our research efforts over the last year:
- 373 species of mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian were recorded during 2010.
- 62 canal bird surveys were carried out collecting over 2000 records to provide a baseline set of data for continuing monitoring of these areas.
- 265 records were made of mammal tracks and sightings along the Juana Lopez Trail.
We also conduct a camera trapping project which is going from strength to strength and providing unparalleled insight into the mammalian fauna of the area, providing the first data regarding numbers of individual jaguars in this area of the Park.
Support for this project will help us to implement a patrol team to further protect these beautiful habitats and the animals who depend on them