We have recently made funding available, in the amount of £1250, to our local partners, the Coastal Jaguar Conservation (CJC). As CJC is a small organisation, the funds are supporting them to continue their invaluable research in the Tortuguero area. They are also very involved in the dissemination of information about jaguar conservation in Costa Rica.
The funds will be used to enhance the continuation of the jaguar research work done on the Southern side of Tortuguero National Park (TNP). This is a year long ongoing project with the following objectives:
The jaguar population in the TNP seems to be stable and showing unique behaviours that only happen here, and in very few places, due to the turtle nesting. CJC aims to continue studying this unique behaviour, as well as cub behaviour, as there are a few now living in the area. There is still so much that we don't yet know about the jaguars in the area, so together with Panthera and the Univerity of Costa Rica, genetic tests are being done in order to determine genetic trends, feeding and now a new study on heavy metals, all make up the studies that we, in conjunction with CJC, wish to focus on this year.
Your donations are making it possible!
What we have done so far:
We look forward to bringing you updates on our research in the coming months.
Thank you for your generosity and making this project possible.
GVI Costa Rica
Our base in Tortuguero National Park (TNP) re-opened in Janaury after being closed over December. We are getting back into the swing of things. We would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights of each of our projects that we ran in 2016.
The Sea Turtle Project
We have been working in pertnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancy for over 7 years now. Our turtle seasons run from March-May for Leatherbacks and June- November for Green Turtles. In 2016 we
This was a successful year for the Jalova Turtle Project, having trained more than 13 staff throughout the season, and more than 17 volunteers specifically for the turtle project. Jalova, also broke records in the area, having managed to work 25 turtles in one night patrol. 2017 looks promising for the hub and its turtles, as the turtle numbers, training and protocols will be improved.
In conjunction with Coastal Jaguar Conservation we have been working to determine whether predation of marine turtles by jaguars is having an impact on the turtle population in the area. This predation is not a new phenomenon but it seems to be increasing over the past 10 year period. Through our research we also aim to estimate the minimum number of jaguars using the coastal habitat of TNP and identify the availability of prey species in the area.
Using a series of camera traps and patrols over 2016 we have substantially expanded the knowledge base for this relationship. We are starting to better understand their presence, abundance and habits.
Incidentals and Forest Biodiversity Project
In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Education (MINAE) we have been documenting vertebrate species found on the southern tip of TNP. In 2016, we have been able to include 10 species that have not previously been seen in the area. The total number of species observed within this area since we began in 2010 is now at 462.
The Incidentals Project broadens the scope of our observations to include birds, reptiles and amphibians. We aim to construct a thorough species inventory for MINAE. We ensure that all of the volunteers are qualified to undertake the surveys, that they go out at different times of the day and to different areas. By doing so we can ensure that the data that we deliver to MINAE every 6 months is accuarte and reliable.
Also in collaboration with MINAE and with similar objectives- we aim to establish the species richness in the area. We have a special focus on 30 canal birds that are observed closest to our base. In 2016, we completed 119 surveys, recorded (visual or auditory) 1173 individual birds, a total of 64 different species. Of this, 24 were our target species.
We would like to thank you for your support of our work last year. We are looking forward to another succesful year in 2017!
GVI Costa Rica
As 2016 draws to a close, we like to take a few moments and reflect on what we have managed to achieve here in Tortuguero National Park (TNP) thanks to your amazing support.
TNP, where Jalova Research Station is located, is a protected area for thousands of species, some of them listed in the IUCN Red List of Endangered or Vulnerable Species. Working in partnership with SINAC, Coastal Jaguar Conservation (CJC) and The Sea Turtle Conservancy, we work towards the conservation and research of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. We work to support the work of the local park rangers who work tirelessly to protect the wildlife here. Most notably is the work to conserve the turtles and jaguars who call this park home.
During the course of 2016, we supported our partners at CJC by purchasing and installing 9 camera traps and the associated material required to keep them field operational. These cameras are essential to the continued monitoring of the jaguar population of TNP, and their predator-prey relationship with the four species of marine turtle that nest in the area. We have managed to gather valuable footage and data over the course of the year using these traps.
In August we had one of our busiest data collection periods yet, and the camera traps were invaluable. We were able to capture incredible footage of Jaguar predation on the marine turtles. We came across a record number of 44 kill sites on the 15 mile stretch of beach. We are then able to set up camera traps near the kills to see if there is any more predation activity on the carcases.
We were also able to purchase new signage for TNP. The 38 signs that we were able to get made and installed, illustrate the restrictions and regulations in TNP. There are signs indicating the road speed limits, the prohibition of fishing, hunting and poaching activities, and speed limits within the river channels. This offers a huge amount of support for the rangers and makes their supervision and monitoring activities in the park a lot easier.
Your support makes the work that we do possible. Thank you for supporting us in 2016!
We wish you a happy festive season and a prosperous 2017.
August is a busy month here in Jalova, especially for the Jag Team. During this time of year, we are at the peak of the green sea turtle nesting season, which also coincides with the peak data collection season for our jaguar research.
With turtles on the beach, the jaguars are close behind. Marine turtles are a valuable and favorable resource for the jaguars living on the coasts of Costa Rica. With a high amount of food around, the jaguar population can thrive. The healthy jaguar population in Tortuguero National Park is keeping the Jag Team very busy this month.
With surveys daily looking for fresh predations on the beach and new sites to set up our remote camera traps the data is piling up. We have already surpassed the number of predations recorded last year; a tribute to the healthy jaguar population and protection of the park but also to the outstanding Jalova team for their diligence and accuracy in finding fresh predations and putting in the miles along the coast looking for signs of carcasses.
The theme of this month can be best described as Saving lives and breaking records! The lives saved are those of the animals living in the national park as staff and awesome volunteers come together day and night to collect valuable data to help better understand and protect these species. We also run into the more practical lifesaving skills, such as when we find female turtles wedged under logs or hatchlings burning up in the hot Caribbean sun.
The records broken are those of the most predations in a three-month phase by jaguars on marine turtles ever recorded. Our famous hard-core conservation survey ‘Jag Walk’ has proven no problem for the volunteers and staff this year. Once a week an elite team of five walk the coastline for 15-miles in the ridiculous weather of the Caribbean searching for turtle carcasses. This month we have set the record for most turtle kills worked in a survey- 44 carcasses and seven long hours later, the Jag Team has something to be proud about.
It’s never our goal to actually see jaguars in the wild, our focus lies more on the importance of capturing camera trap footage of them in a natural state with no human influence. We do this in two ways: one by putting cameras on trails to help us identify individuals in the park and second by putting cameras up on fresh kills hoping for a return and a chance to capture footage of feeding and social behavior.
With lots of turtles this season there have been many opportunities to set up “kill cams” capturing absolutely stunning images and extremely enlightening footage of the secret life of these so-called solitary cats. The data collected this year and the efficiency of the Jalova team is some of the best in years. With great support from our partners at Coastal Jaguar Conservation and with breathtaking videos of this amazing species almost daily, we think that this is one of the most exciting projects GVI has!
Thanks for your continued support!
GVI Costa Rica
The beach at Tortuguero where we are based has been a nesting point for Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead turtles for centuries. After a long period of turtle exploitation for meat, the economy at Tortuguero has switched from being poaching-based to a more sustainable eco-tourism base, turning poaching into a highly illegal activity.
It is wonderful to start seeing more and more turtles coming to the beach to nest each year and it is always an exciting time of year for us!
In order to assess the efficiency of this conservation effort in protecting the populations of the turtles nesting at Tortuguero National Park, in partnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), GVI Jalova conducts night surveys termed as ‘night walks’ in order to record any and all turtle sightings as they come up on the beach to lay their eggs.
During night walks, volunteers walk on the beach in order locate these turtles and tag them with a unique number so that the information may be added to the ever-growing database. If a turtle is spotted digging her egg chamber and eggs can be counted, staff and volunteers will triangulate the nest so that hatching success may be calculated. Volunteers get to participate in a unique experience by having the chance to count the eggs that are laid by the turtle themselves. With the beginning of June came the start of the Green turtle season which will be monitored for number of nests and hatching success all through June to November.
What we've seen so far
Thanks to the contributions of the volunteers at the GVI Jalova base, 2 Green, 2 Hawksbill, and 2 Leatherback turtle nests have been marked already this season. We were also able to do triangulation and eggs were counted in order to further monitor the hatching success. We were also very excited to discover that 3 individuals from each of the three species observed were marked with new tags and added to the database!
Thank you for your continuous support of this project!
GVI Costa Rica
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser