Recent funds to the National Park helped in facilitating extra patrols during the high poaching and hunting period Semana Santa (Holy week before Easter). During this time there is higher demand for turtle products and also increased activity from hunters in the forest of the park, looking for deer and wild pigs.
Extra personnel were able to be drafted in to run the patrols through the means of police. This adds not only extra people but also more authoritative figures so further people can be detained for law breaking. Without the food money the police would not be able to stay in the park and thus be unavailable for patrol.
These funds meant that this Semana Santa period was one of the better patrolled of all time which is good news for the local wildlife. However poaching is still rife in the park and increased protection needs to be sought year round. Without the extra funds in the future this will not be facilitated and the future green season will see a larger strain on park ranger resources.
We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.
We are delighted to share that this has been by far our most successful period, raising in six months nearly as much as we did the whole of the previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.
During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America including support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now realise their goal of seeing impoverished students through to completion of the primary education earning recognised qualifications for the first time.
These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.
Scientific research helping to conserve sea turtles and other wildlife
By Ross Deans | GVI Charitable Trust Manager
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
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