GVI Costa Rica

Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Expedition

Phase Report 072 11th April – 20th June 2007

GVI Costa Rica Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Expedition Report Submitted in whole to: Global Vision International The Canadian Organisation for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC) Steven Furino, Waterloo University, Canada Submitted in part to: The Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (MINAE) Produced by
Rebeca Chaverri - Country Director James Lewis - Expedition Manager Julie Jackson - Expedition Staff Jennifer Christie – Expedition Staff Hannah Mountain – Expedition Staff Tiffanie Rainville - Expedition Staff Aysha Hamisi – Expedition Staff Brianne Smith - Expedition Staff Alec Morrison – Expedition Staff And
Benjamin Alyoshkin Rebecca Hovey Brett King Joseph Keating Oliver Burnell Alessandro Grassi Geraldine Freegard Thomas Trull Hannah Lafleur Ashley Haskins David Jones Caitlin Thompson Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Leslie Coleman Rebecca Maddison Michael Oliva Simon James Jonathan Lewin Lowri Davies Lauren Allan Alex Tivenan Tonni Knox- Hiitola Mary Samantha Lee Marcia Rae Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member Expedition Member

Edited by Britt Larsen - Regional Director GVI Costa Rica Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Expedition
Address: Estación Biológica Caño Palma, Tortuguero, Costa Rica Tel: (+506) 709 8052 Email: Costa_rica@gvi.co.uk Web page: http://www.gvi.co.uk

Executive Summary
• Jaguar Predation on Marine Turtles. In collaboration with the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). • • Camera Trapping in Tortuguero National Park (TNP). In collaboration with MINAE. Marine Turtle Monitoring Programme. In collaboration with the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC), MINAE and the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC). • Estación Biológica Caño Palma (EBCP) Resident Bird Project. In collaboration with Steven Furino, Waterloo University, Canada. • • • • Tourist Impact Assessment on Caño Palma canal. Local Reforestation Project. In collaboration with COTERC. Estación Biológica Caño Palma (EBCP) incidental species recording. English Language Lessons. In collaboration with the San Francisco community and Tortuguero Canopy Tours.

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................ 3 1 Introduction.............................................................................................................. 7 2 Jaguar Predation on Marine Turtles ......................................................................... 8 2.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................... 8 2.2 Aim .................................................................................................................. 9 2.3 Methodology .................................................................................................... 9 2.4 Results........................................................................................................... 11 2.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 14 3 Camera Trapping................................................................................................... 16 3.1 Introduction .................................................................................................... 16 3.2 Aim ................................................................................................................ 17 3.3 Methodology .................................................................................................. 17 3.3.1 Study site ............................................................................................... 17 3.3.2 Location of cameras ............................................................................... 18 3.3.3 Setting the cameras ............................................................................... 18 3.3.4 Checking the cameras............................................................................ 19 3.3.5 Data entering and analysis ..................................................................... 19 3.4 Results........................................................................................................... 19 3.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 19 4 Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Programme ........................................ 20 4.1 Introduction .................................................................................................... 20 4.2 Aim ................................................................................................................ 21 4.3 Methodology .................................................................................................. 22 4.3.1 Study site ............................................................................................... 22 4.3.2 Pre season preparations ........................................................................ 23 4.3.3 Daily track census and nest surveys ...................................................... 23 4.3.4 Night surveys ......................................................................................... 24 4.3.5 Nest fate, nest survivorship and hatching success ................................. 25 4.3.6 Disguising nests ..................................................................................... 26 4.3.7 Collection of human impact data ............................................................ 26 4.4 Results........................................................................................................... 27 4.4.1 Daily track census and nest surveys for leatherbacks ............................ 27 4.4.2 Tagging of leatherbacks ......................................................................... 30 4.4.3 Biometric data for leatherbacks .............................................................. 31 4.4.4 Nest survivorship and hatchling success for leatherbacks ...................... 32 4.4.5 Fate of nests marked by triangulation for leatherbacks........................... 32 4.4.6 Hawksbill, green, loggerhead activity ..................................................... 33 4.4.7 Human impact data ................................................................................ 33 4.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 33 5 EBCP Resident Bird Project .................................................................................. 35 5.1 Introduction .................................................................................................... 35 5.2 Aim ................................................................................................................ 35 5.3 Methodology .................................................................................................. 35 5.3.1 Area searches ........................................................................................ 36 5.3.2 Incidental observations........................................................................... 36 5.4 Results........................................................................................................... 36 5.4.1 Survey data ............................................................................................ 36 5.4.2 Incidental observations........................................................................... 40 4

5.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 40 Tourist Impact Survey on Caño Palma .................................................................. 41 6.1 Introduction .................................................................................................... 41 6.2 Aims .............................................................................................................. 41 6.3 Methodology .................................................................................................. 41 6.4 Results........................................................................................................... 42 6.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 42 7 Reforestation ......................................................................................................... 43 7.1 Introduction .................................................................................................... 43 7.2 Aim ................................................................................................................ 43 7.3 Methodology .................................................................................................. 43 7.3.1 Seed collection ....................................................................................... 43 7.3.2 Sapling collection ................................................................................... 44 7.3.3 Bagging seeds and saplings................................................................... 44 7.3.4 Replanting .............................................................................................. 44 7.4 Results........................................................................................................... 45 7.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 45 8 Incidentals ............................................................................................................. 46 8.1 EBCP Incidentals ........................................................................................... 46 8.1.1 Introduction ............................................................................................ 46 8.1.2 Aims ....................................................................................................... 46 8.1.3 Methodology .......................................................................................... 46 8.1.4 Results ................................................................................................... 47 8.2 Primates ........................................................................................................ 48 8.2.1 Introduction ............................................................................................ 48 8.2.2 Aims ....................................................................................................... 48 8.2.3 Methodology .......................................................................................... 48 8.2.4 Results ................................................................................................... 49 8.2.5 Discussion.............................................................................................. 50 9 Tourism Surveys in Tortuguero Village .................................................................. 51 10 Capacity building programme ................................................................................ 51 10.1 English teaching ............................................................................................ 51 10.1.1 Introduction ............................................................................................ 51 10.1.2 Aims ....................................................................................................... 51 10.2 Environmental Education ............................................................................... 52 10.2.1 Introduction ............................................................................................ 52 10.2.2 Aims ....................................................................................................... 52 10.3 Intercambio .................................................................................................... 52 10.3.1 Introduction ............................................................................................ 52 10.3.2 Aims ....................................................................................................... 52 10.4 Methodology for English teaching and Environmental Education ................... 53 10.4.1 Training .................................................................................................. 53 10.4.2 Practice .................................................................................................. 53 10.4.3 Results ................................................................................................... 54 10.5 Discussion ..................................................................................................... 55 10.6 Suggestions for the future .............................................................................. 60 11 References ............................................................................................................ 60 12 Appendices............................................................................................................ 64 Appendix A ................................................................................................................ 64 Appendix B ................................................................................................................ 65 6 5

List of Figures
Figure 2-1 Spatial distribution of jaguar tracks, dead turtles and estimated number of turtle nests along the 14.5 miles of beach in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. ..... 12 Figure 2-2 Temporal distribution of number of dead turtles, estimated number of nests and number of jaguar tracks, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. ............................ 13 Figure 2-3 Temporal distribution of dead turtles by estimated time of death, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. ............................................................................................ 14 Figure 4-1 Nest status based on morning census from 21st March to 11th June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica. ............................................................................................... 27 Figure 4-2 Seasonal nesting distribution of leatherback turtles between 21st March and 11th June 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica. ..................................................................... 29 Figure 4-3 Spatial nesting distribution of leatherback turtles on the Playa Norte between 21st March and 11th June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.............................................. 30 Figure 5-1 Total number of species and surveys on aquatic trails, Caño Chiquero, Caño Harold and Caño Palma, Costa Rica. ............................................................................ 37 Figure 5-2 Number of key species recorded during surveys of Caño Chiquero aquatic trail, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. .................................................................. 38 Figure 5-3 Number of key species recorded during surveys of Caño Harold aquatic trail, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. .......................................................................... 39 Figure 5-4 Number of key species recorded during surveys on Caño Palma, Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica............................................................................ 40

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1 Introduction
The Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Conservation Expedition at the Caño Palma Biological Station in Tortuguero, Costa Rica has now completed its eighth phase (seven x 10 weeks). The expedition to date has assisted in collecting a substantial amount of scientific data. Although this data is already helping to identify potential future research areas and providing important data to the national and international scientific community, it is still at the preliminary stage. As experience is gained in data collection methodologies, the expedition continues to be improved and focused. A full Annual Report for 2007 (to be initiated in January 2008) will collate and summarize all data and enable more descriptive and accurate analysis.

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2 Jaguar Predation on Marine Turtles
2.1 Introduction

Tortuguero National Park (TNP), located along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, is the most important nesting ground for the Atlantic population of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) (Bass et al., 1998). In addition to the green turtle, a significant number of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) as well as the occasional hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles nest in TNP (Haro & Harrison 2006). The nesting turtle population has been monitored on the park’s beach since 1955 (Carr 1980, Carr & Carr 1972) and it continues to be monitored today by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC). The only animals that are known to kill adult marine turtles are sharks, killer whales, and jaguars (Hirth, 1997; Oritz et al., 1997 cited by Troëng, 2000). Because of this, any turtle carcasses on the beach that showed no signs of being poached were presumed to have been killed by a jaguar. Nevertheless, information on jaguar (Panthera onca) predation of marine turtles is sparse, but has been recorded sporadically in many areas of the world, although the first records appear to come from Suriname, where 82 green turtles were identified as being predated by jaguars from 1963-1973 and Koford (1983) mentions that jaguars prey on marine turtles in this country, although no specific species are mentioned. On the same beach in 1980 one individual jaguar killed 13 turtles within only a few days (Autar, 1994). On the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, jaguars have been recorded preying upon olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), black (Chelonia mydas agassizii), and hawksbill turtles (Carrillo et al. 1994, Chinchilla, 1997). Although there has been much research done on turtles in TNP, from 1956 to 1995 there were only two green turtles recorded as killed by a jaguar, one in 1981 (Carrillo et al., 1994) and another in 1984 (J. Mortimer pers. comm. in Troëng, 2000). Weekly walks on the beach to record the number of turtle carcasses killed by jaguars began in 1997 as part of the CCC’s turtle monitoring programme (Troëng, 1997; Troëng et al., 1999). The CCC found four dead green turtles killed by jaguars in their first year of 8

data collection (Troëng, 1997, Troëng, 2000). In 1998, a minimum of 25 dead green turtles were found and in 1999, at least 22 green turtles and two leatherback turtles were recorded (Troëng, 2000). In 2002 the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) began a study on the predation of marine turtles by jaguars, recording all kills both fresh and old. They found 60 turtle carcasses in 2002 and 65 in 2003 (Magally Castro, pers. comm.). Though predation upon turtles by jaguars is not a new phenomenon, data suggests that it has increased in the past 10 years within TNP (Troëng, 2000; Magally Castro, pers. comm.). Due to a lack of human resources, MINAE invited Global Vision International (GVI) to continue data collection on jaguar presence and predation of marine turtles in TNP. Data collection has been conducted by GVI since 11th July 2005, using the MINAE protocol. The study has found that jaguars killed 60 turtles from July to December 2005 and 131 turtles in all of 2006. This data, in addition to the data previously collected by MINAE, can be used to develop a more comprehensive understanding of jaguar impact on the marine turtle population of TNP, potentially aiding in management and conservation decisions for both species. 2.2 Aim

This project aims to document the magnitude of jaguar predation on the nesting population of marine turtles in Tortuguero National Park. 2.3 Methodology

Surveys were conducted over the 14.5 mile stretch of beach from the entrance of Tortuguero National Park (mile marker 3.5) to Jalova lagoon (mile 18). At least four researchers conducted the survey once per week, starting at dawn from either Tortuguero (at the northern end of the beach) or Jalova (at the southern end). General data such as date, name of researchers, and start time were noted at the beginning of the survey. In addition to this, sand condition, general weather data, and beach width were recorded every four miles (mile markers 4, 8, 12, and 16) since both daily and seasonal weather conditions, such as intense and prolonged rain, severe sun exposure, high winds, variable tidal movement and very dry sand influence the visibility of jaguar prints, therefore affecting the data collected. 9

During the survey, researchers recorded the total number of fresh turtle tracks (one to two nights old) on the beach, including both half moons (not nested) and full tracks (nested). It should be noted that during the peak of the green turtle season (late June to September) these numbers may contain some error due to the high numbers of turtle tracks present on the beach. When fresh jaguar tracks were encountered, the direction of the track (north or south) and location (distance from northern mile marker and GPS coordinates) were recorded. It was also noted whether the track was a clear entrance or exit point or was encountered in the middle of the beach. When the track was lost and no trace of the track was seen within 200m, the mile marker and GPS coordinates were noted. The researchers also noted whether the tracks were simply lost or if there was a clear entrance or exit point to or from the beach. This information is used to help determine common routes jaguars use to access the beach. The following data was collected on turtle carcasses that showed signs of jaguar predation: • • • • • • • • • • • Species Turtle ID number (assigned at time of encounter) Location (distance from northern mile marker and GPS coordinates) Location of carcass relative to the vegetation Estimated point of attack (only for fresh kills) Parts of turtle eaten (only for fresh kills) Estimated number of nights since kill (determined by signs of decay) Curved carapace length (CCL) and curved carapace width (CCW) when possible Whether the turtle is on its plastron or carapace Any tag numbers if tags are present Any other comments/observations

A photograph was taken a few meters from each turtle, including any vegetation in the background to distinguish its position. Photographs of anything else relevant to the survey were also taken such as signs of jaguar presence (scratching posts, tracks, etc).

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For further and more specific methodologies see the GVI Jaguar Predation on Marine Turtles Protocol. 2.4 Results

A total of nine surveys were conducted between 20th April and 15th June, 2007, same number of surveys as in last phase and also, during this far into the season in 2006. The average duration of the survey was nine hours and 22 minutes. The longest survey was completed in ten hours and 30 minutes and the shortest in seven hours and 47 minutes. Since 11th July 2005 a total of 79 surveys have been conducted by GVI. Phase 072 coincided with the leatherback season and the beginning of the green season . The data for this phase totalled 109 leatherback half moons and 455 nests, 89 green half moons and 330 nests. In addition to at least seven areas of high jaguar activity, 53 sets of jaguar tracks were recorded. The first dead turtle of the year was found during this phase. Figure 2-1 shows the frequency of estimated turtle nests, dead turtles, and jaguar tracks per half mile of the beach. A total of 12 carcasses were observed, 10 of which were green, one was a hawksbill and one leatherback. Though the leatherback displayed signs of poaching, many of the other carcasses were attacked at the neck and dragged by the neck into the vegetation and thus assumed to be killed by jaguars. The number of carcasses found during this time of the year during 2006 was higher, for a total of 18 dead turtles, all greens and all of them found between miles 6 ½ and 15. This phase a green turtle carcass was found closer to Tortuguero town, between miles 4½ and 5 (figure 2.1)

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70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
3. 54 44. 5 4. 55 55. 5 5. 56 66. 5 6. 57 77. 5 7. 58 88. 5 8. 59 99. 9. 5 510 10 -1 0 10 .5 .5 11 11 -1 11 1.5 .5 12 12 -1 12 2.5 .5 13 13 -1 13 3.5 .5 14 14 -1 4 14 .5 .5 15 15 -1 5 15 .5 .5 -1 16 6 -1 16 6.5 .5 17 17 -1 17 7.5 .5 -1 8

Jaguar Tracks Dead Turtles Estimated Number of Nests

Mile

Figure 2-1 Spatial distribution of jaguar tracks, dead turtles and estimated number of turtle nests along the 14.5 miles of beach in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

Figure 2-2 shows number of nesting marine turtles, dead turtles and jaguar tracks per survey week. The highest concentration of nesting turtles was during weeks 15, 16 and 17. The highest number of jaguar tracks was observed during weeks 15, 18 and 23. Dead turtles were observed all weeks except 16, 22 and 23. Inclement weather during week 16 may have affected the accuracy of the jaguar track data. There was also a lower number of turtle tracks observed during week 16 than during weeks 15 or 17, which may be due to the heavy rain. The general trend of many nesting turtles at the beginning and end of the survey period coincides with the end of the leatherback season and the beginning of green season.

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180

160

140

120

100 Dead Turtles Estimated Number of Nests Jaguar Tracks 80

60

40

20

0 15 16 17 18 19 Week of the Year 20 21 22 23

Figure 2-2 Temporal distribution of number of dead turtles, estimated number of nests and number of jaguar tracks, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

Figure 2-3 shows the temporal distribution of all dead turtles encountered based upon the estimated time of death. One very old turtle was encountered during week 16, estimated at 40 days old. Turtles were encountered that had been killed every week between weeks 17 and 21.

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3

2

1

0 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Week of the Year

Figure 2-3 Temporal distribution of dead turtles by estimated time of death, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

2.5

Discussion

During phase 072 there was a consistently high level of jaguar activity extending nearly the entire length of TNP. The highest concentration of tracks was found in the area between miles 5½ and 9. There were many locations on the beach which had several sets of tracks simultaneously present, which may have been due to either multiple individuals or a single individual travelling the same area multiple times. The majority of tracks were first seen in the middle of the beach, entrances and exits where jaguars left and returned to the forest were also observed. Interestingly, the frequency of jaguar tracks did not directly correlate with the frequency of turtle tracks (Figure 1-1). The observable differences in frequency of jaguar tracks near to the Tortuguero and Jalova ends of the beach could have been due to the survey methods used. The surveys started from Tortuguero six times and from Jalova only three times. Ideally, the surveys would have started from each end an equal number of times because tracks found later 14

in the day may be faded, washed away, or difficult to observe by the time they are reached. Beach conditions during this phase varied considerably. Several of the surveys were completed during hot, dry conditions, which often caused both jaguar and turtle tracks to fade in the sand. Such conditions could either erase the tracks completely or make them seem too old to be recorded. During several other surveys there was light to heavy rain, this could also have caused tracks to disintegrate. Rain may have also made it harder to smell dead turtles that had been dragged into the vegetation. Previously collected data in TNP has shown that jaguars consume only a small percentage of the turtle meat. In most cases of jaguar predation of marine turtles, only the neck muscle has been consumed (Troëng, 2000). It is not known why jaguars kill turtles and then eat only a small amount. One hypothesis suggests that turtles may be used as a training tool for young jaguars, as they are easy to approach and kill (Schaller 1972, Carrillo, pers. comm.). It is also hypothesized that jaguars exert such a small amount of energy killing turtles that not much meat is required to replace the total energy expenditure of the kill (Castro, pers. comm.; Carrillo, pers. comm.). Evidence of other jaguar potential prey were recorded during the surveys both on the beach and in the bordering forest. More than 85 species have been reported as forming part of its diet (Seymour 1989, Carrillo et al., 1994). The species registered during the surveys included species such as white-nosed coati (Nasua narica), black river turtles (Rhinoclemmys funerea), spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), green iguanas (Iguana iguana), great curassows (Crax rubra), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari). Therefore jaguars may be on the beach in search of any prey species and not exclusively turtles. Though the number of marine turtles being killed in TNP by jaguars is clearly increasing, more years of consistent data collection are needed in order to draw conclusions about the reasons behind this trend. It is also important to not that according to the number of nesting turtles recorded in Tortuguero, it is unlikely that jaguar predation is significantly affecting its numbers (Troëng, 2000). 15

There are several possible hypotheses concerning this trend. The local jaguar population size may be growing (Troëng, 2000). The factors responsible for these changes will vary regionally due to differences in habitat, prey availability, economic development, and cultural attitudes (Quigley & Crawshaw, 1990). The enforcement within park boundaries of protective legislation prohibiting the hunting of jaguars, could be a contributing factor to a population increase. But a less positive explanation could be truth: human encroachment around TNP is increasing in the form of deforestation for agriculture and cattle farming may be affecting the jaguar population. This, in addition to a possible hunting pressure in Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge and the Indio-Maiz region of Nicaragua, may have caused the jaguar population to become more concentrated in the TNP area, thus causing an increase in observed turtle predation instances (Troëng, 2000). Another possibility is that changes in jaguar behaviour and habits are contributing to the increased turtle predation, rather than a change in the jaguar population size or concentration. The poaching of other jaguar prey may have caused a heavier reliance on marine turtles as a source of food, considering their plentiful supply during the nesting season. Further research on jaguar predation of marine turtles is needed before conclusions can be made (Troëng, 2000).

3 Camera Trapping
3.1 Introduction

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the third largest felid in the world and the largest in all of North and South America. Its range used to span from the Southwestern United States of America, where is no longer found (Weber & Rabinowitz 1996) to Southern Argentina (Seymour, 1989). However, the current range is less than 50% what it was in 1900 (Sanderson et al., 2002), ranging from northern Mexico to northern Argentina and are considered threatened across much of this range (Aranda 2000, Sanderson et al., 2002). The jaguar is an elusive animal that has been hunted greatly in the past for its pelt (Weber & Rabinowitz 1996) but today the major threats to the jaguar are illegal hunting, prey depletion, and habitat destruction and fragmentation (Miller & Rabinowitz 2002) since jaguars will occasionally kill farm animals, and are hunted by farm owners when they are considered a problem (Navarro-Serment et al., 2005) and also depend upon a 16

variety of ecosystems and need a large home-range. Scientists have started to focus on a range-wide approach to the conservation of the species. However, in order to aid future conservation initiatives of the species a greater understanding of jaguar population dynamics is needed (Sanderson et al. 2002). Little is known about the population of jaguars in Tortuguero National Park. The National Park guards have seen jaguars on numerous occasions and have estimated that there are six to eight individuals currently using the beach. GVI has initiated the use of cameras to estimate the population size of jaguars in TNP. In the future, the information could potentially be used for a population study by identifying individuals and using mark/recapture models. Cameras have been used before to study secretive carnivore species such as tiger (Panthera tigris) populations in India (Karanth & Nichols 1998, Karanth & Nichols 2000, Karanth et al., 2004), and jaguar populations in the Neotropics (Silver 2004, Salom-Pérez et al., 2007). We have adopted similar methods as used by Silver (2004) and are currently undertaking field trials. 3.2 Aim

The aim of this project is to estimate the minimum number of jaguars using the coastal habitat inside Tortuguero National Park. This requires the identification of individual animals. In order to achieve this aim the objectives are 1) to determine the areas where jaguars are present, 2) to record their hours of activity and other habits, 3) to compare jaguar activity at different sites along the coastal forest. 3.3 3.3.1 Methodology Study site

The beach of TNP is 18 miles long with posts marking every half-mile (the half miles are marked as 4/8). Tortuguero village is located at about mile three (the north end of the beach) and Jalova is located at mile 18 (the south end of the beach). There is a trail parallel to the beach running from mile zero to mile 14 4/8. Along the trail close to Tortuguero there are many paths that lead to the beach slowly becoming more dispersed the further South you travel. Tourists use the trail between miles zero and six frequently during green turtle season (June to November). During off-season tourists and local people use the trail much less. 17

3.3.2

Location of cameras

Camera sites were selected in the forest along the edge of the TNP beach based on GVI collected data such as jaguar presence on the TNP beach the areas of high activity and known entrance and exit points of jaguars. This data has been recorded for over a year during Jaguar Walks (see 2.1 Jaguar predation on marine turtles). Many factors were considered before selecting a camera site such as jaguar and human presence, vegetation cover, trail width, and indirect sunlight. Ideally, the cameras are placed no more than two miles apart, minimizing the possibility of unmonitored area for a jaguar to pass through. When possible, cameras were placed on trails that are not used often by humans, in order to avoid theft and photos of humans. 3.3.3 Setting the cameras

The cameras used were motion-activated Stealth Cam Model MC2-GWMV. When working with trapping stations (two cameras per station), one camera was set on the time function and the other one on the date function. Since the purpose is to use the animal’s flanks for identifications, both sides must be pictured (Karanth & Nichols 2000). The cameras were set one meter off the trail where a jaguar is expected to pass and at a height of 50-70 cm above the ground (Silver 2004). The Stealth Cams have a time-out function. This means they can be programmed to pause for one to 60 minutes between motion detection. Determining an appropriate amount of time depends on the level of activity in the given location. This function was set for one minute, in order to “capture” as many animals as possible. The cameras also have a continuous capture feature. The cameras can be programmed to take between one and nine pictures each time motion is detected. During this stage of the study, the cameras were set to take three photos each time motion was detected. Once a location was chosen, the camera was secured to a tree trunk using a strap. The cameras were directed at each other and sticks were used to adjust the angle of the camera sight to 30 to 60 cm from the ground. After setting the cameras, a tampon or silica gel packet was placed inside the camera case to absorb moisture, and silicone sealant used to close all seams and prevent water from entering. A feline bait, Wildcat 18

#2, was placed on a log between the cameras in an attempt to attract any jaguars in the area to the exact camera location. 3.3.4 Checking the cameras

The cameras were checked at least once every two weeks to change the film and/or batteries if necessary and ensure they were still functioning correctly. When several photos had been taken or the cameras were non-functional, they were removed and replaced. The film was then removed in a dark room in order to prevent any overexposure when film does not completely rewind. The film was labelled with the camera location, name and date. 3.3.5 Data entering and analysis

The following data was recorded for each camera site: Site Number, Mile, GPS, Date, Time, and Camera Numbers. The following data was recorded when a camera site was checked: Site Number, Date, Camera Numbers, Number of photos on each camera, Problems Encountered, Cameras Removed, and any other relevant information (e.g. three photos were taken of crew while checking site). 3.4 Results

During phase 072 cameras were set up at five sites. Many problems arose with all of the cameras used in the study. Problems included the film not winding on, the cameras turning off, the LCD screens flashing on and off, and the motion sensors not activating. Ten rolls of film were developed, none of which contained animal photos. Four of these rolls of film were damaged by water that had collected inside the cameras. 3.5 Discussion

The photos from Phase 072 did not include jaguars nor any other animals. The cameras were activated several times, but it is not clear why. Some hypothesis include that the cameras sensed changes in light filtering through the canopy or wind movement of vegetation, that the time between activation and shutter release was too long, allowing 19

an animal to pass and not be photographed, or that the problems with film winding prohibited the camera from taking photos at all. As more data has been collected, much has been learned about site selection and camera operation. As such, methods continue to be revised and the project further developed.

4 Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Programme
4.1 Introduction

Marine turtles have been nesting on the beaches of Tortuguero for hundreds of years. Archie Carr began his studies of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Tortuguero in 1954 and since 1958 the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) has continued his work on this species. Although Tortuguero and the Tortuguero National Park (TNP) are best known for their populations of green turtles, they also host populations of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the occasional loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Due to this, the CCC began its leatherback monitoring programme in 1995. Located about 7km north of Tortuguero, inside the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, is the Estación Biológica Caño Palma (EBCP), owned by the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC). Since its creation in 1990, COTERC has been interested in developing a marine turtle monitoring programme on Playa Norte (Playa Norte), which is located on the north side of Laguna Tortuguero. In 2004 and 2005, COTERC undertook a feasibility assessment in order to establish the significance of the population of marine turtles nesting on Playa Norte and to determine whether this number warranted a project and significant protection. The findings of the assessment did indeed establish the importance of a long term marine turtle monitoring programme, which was initiated with the assistance of Global Vision International (GVI). In addition to the current monitoring programme, an independent assessment examined the economic and social aspects associated with the conservation of marine turtles on Playa Norte (see van Oudenhoven 2007).

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Management of both TNP and the Barra del Colarado Wildlife Refuge is becoming increasingly important because of the increasing impact of tourism on the area. The numbers of tourists visiting the national park has increased from about 49,000 in 2000 to over 103,000 in 2006 (Allan Valverde, written comm. 2007).. Between 1988 and 2002, tourist numbers visiting the park grew at an annual average rate of 16 percent (Tortuguero Conservation Area data published by Tröeng 2004). This increase in visitors to the TNP has had a trickle down effect on the reserve and Playa Norte, development along Playa Norte has been steady over the past few years with the creation of two hotels and several homes. It is likely that the population of the local community of San Francisco will continue to grow as will the tourism industry in the area, and both developments may have long term impacts and implications on the marine turtles nesting on the beach. It is hoped that with a greater understanding of the dynamics of Playa Norte and its associated marine turtle population, this project will contribute to an informed approach to the management of Playa Norte, the reserve and the area surrounding the town of Tortuguero. 4.2 Aim

The overall aims of this project are to be a leader in the long term conservation of marine turtles in the area of Playa Norte and to ethically gather valuable scientific data on the nesting marine turtles. The project’s specific conservation aims are to 1) reduce poaching rates, 2) increase hatchling emergence rates, and 3) educate the community and tourists about marine turtle conservation, including appropriate behaviour on a beach. The project’s specific scientific aims are to 1) gather selected biometric data on nesting marine turtles, 2) record the spatial and seasonal distribution of nesting females, 3) monitor the number of nesting emergences, 4) determine the level of illegal poaching on turtles and their nests, 5) record survival of the nests and hatchling success rates, 6) monitor the apparent physical health of nesting females, 7) track re-emergences to the nesting beach and/or migration between beaches, and 8) register tourist and human development around the nesting site. 21

4.3

Methodology

The methodology used for the marine turtle monitoring programme follows the COTERC and GVI protocols which are adapted from the CCC methodology. This methodology was used for all of phase 072 (21st March to 11th June) and will be used for all of 2007. For further, more specific methodologies please refer to the 2007 Marine Turtle Monitoring Program Night and Day Protocols. 4.3.1 Study site

The Playa Norte, which contains the study area, is 3 1/8 miles long, (approximately five kilometers), and extends from the Tortuguero River mouth (10º36’36,9”N 83º31’52,1”W) in the south to Laguna Cuatro (10º37’56,3”N – 83º32’25,7”W) in the north. Although this beach is not located within the TNP boundaries, it is situated within the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, which, like the TNP, is managed by ACTo (Area de Conservación Tortuguero) under MINAE – the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy. The limits of the study area are Mile 0 at the Tortuguero River mouth and Mile 3 1/8 just north of Laguna Cuatro. The entire study area is divided and marked with mile markers at every 1/8 of a mile (200 meters). The mile markers run in ascending order from the south to the north to allow for the documentation of spatial distribution and density of nests along the beach. The nearest village to the study site is San Francisco, a constantly growing community of about 275 residents, situated south of mile 0. Two hotels, Cabinas Vista al Mar and Turtle Beach Lodge, and eight houses are located along the study beach. On the southern side of the Tortuguero River mouth is Tortuguero beach, which the CCC monitors from mile 0 to Jalova lagoon at mile 18. The sand of the study beach is black and fine, typical for a high energy-beach. The width of the nesting beach platform or berm varies from two to 38 meters, but the configuration of its shape and size changes constantly in response to long shore drift and exposure levels.

22

The dominant plants on the nesting beach are members of the morning glory family (Ipomoea pescaprae), rea-purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum) and rush grass (Sporobolus virginicus). The berm is bordered by a hedgerow of cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco) and sea grapes (Coccoloba uvifera) with a mixture of coconut palms (Cocos nucifera) and various tropical hardwoods behind. The beach is littered with a variety of debris including logs, coconut husks and a large amount of trash such as plastic and glass bottles, old shoes, rope, plastic bags, etc. Along Playa Norte GVI consistently conducts beach cleans, focusing mainly around recorded nesting sites in order to increase the survival rates of hatchlings. 4.3.2 Pre season preparations

Before the season began, each mile-marker was repaired or replaced if necessary. Many beach cleans were completed in the hope of creating a better nesting site for leatherback turtles. Each volunteer and patrol leader was trained thoroughly both in the classroom and in the field in order to ensure competent data collection and ethical behaviour on the beach. 4.3.3 Daily track census and nest surveys

Sea turtles found in this area are leatherback turtles, nesting from March to mid-July, green turtles, nesting from June to November, and the occasional hawksbill and loggerhead turtle, both nesting from June to September (Troëng et al. 2004), although our data suggest that these two species can start emerging at an early date. Surveys were conducted every day from 21st March to 11th June. The daily morning census started at approximately 5:00 to 6:00 am and lasted for up to three hours depending on the volume of data to collect. The survey involved walking the beach between mile 0 and 3 1/8, recording and monitoring tracks and nests from the night before. The day team identified tracks as full tracks (turtle nested), half moons (non-nesting emergences), or a lifted turtle (no tracks going back into the sea). The vertical position of the nest on the beach was identified either as Open (O – area of beach which receives 100% sunlight), Border (B - area where nest is partially shaded by vegetation) or 23

Vegetation (V - area where nest is constantly shaded by vegetation). Nests were then identified as natural (if it remained in its original state until hatchling emergence or excavation), poached (when egg shells or a cavity were found), eroded or predated by an animal. It was marked as unknown if the nest had many signs of poaching, such as an accumulation of flies, stick holes, and human and or dog prints, but no egg shells or cavity. 4.3.4 Night surveys

Night surveys were conducted every night from 21st March to 11th June. Each night a minimum of one survey team walked the beach between mile 0 and mile 3 1/8 for a minimum of four hours each. If one team was on the beach they patrolled around 21:30 to 01:30. When two teams patrolled the first team patrolled the beach from approximately 20:30 to 00:30 whilst the second team patrolled from 23:00 to 03:00. When a turtle track was found the Patrol Leader (PL) determined whether or not the turtle was still on the beach. If not, then the PL determined if the track was a half moon, nest, or lifted turtle. If it was deemed a half moon, the species, GPS, closest northern mile-marker, and time track was seen were all recorded. If deemed a nest, the species, GPS, closest northern mile-marker, time the track was seen, vertical position, and nest status were recorded. If deemed a lifted turtle at the very least the species, GPS, closest northern mile-marker, time the track was seen and vertical position (if it had nested), were recorded. When a turtle was encountered, all efforts were made not to disturb her before oviposition. All patrol members who were to come in contact with the turtle put on gloves. Once the egg-laying process had started, the eggs were counted (yolkless and fertile counted separately) and triangulation of the nest was completed. When the turtle completed oviposition and began to cover her egg chamber, she was then checked for tags, Old Tag Notches (OTNs) and Old Tag Holes (OTHs) and tagged if necessary. Leatherback turtles were tagged in the thin skin between the rear flippers and the tail using Monel #49 tags (National Band & Tag Co., Newport, USA). Green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles were tagged on the front flippers before the first scale using Inconel #681 tags. 24

Once tagging was finished the minimum curved carapace length (CCLmin) and maximum curved carapace width (CCWmax) were taken to the nearest millimetre, three times each. If the measurements were not within 3mm of each other more were taken until the data was consistent. For leatherbacks, CCLmin was taken from the nuchal notch where the skin touches the carapace, along the back to the right of the central ridge until the end of the caudal projection. It was also noted whether the caudal projection was complete or not. For green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles, CCLmin was taken from where the skin touches the carapace along the back until the posterior notch (not the longest length of the carapace). For all species CCWmax was always taken along the widest part of the turtle. Once tagging and measurements were completed, the turtle was checked for abnormalities and fibropapilloma tumors. All irregularities were recorded. The GPS, closest northern mile marker, phase the turtle was found in (1-emerging from the sea, 2-selecting nest site, 3-digging body pit, 4-digging egg chamber, 5-oviposition, 6-covering egg chamber, 7-camouflaging, 8-returning to the sea), encounter time, direction while nesting, and vertical position were also recorded. 4.3.5 Nest fate, nest survivorship and hatching success

Nests were triangulated during oviposition whenever possible and triangulation was attempted at times even when the egg chamber was not seen in order to gather as much information about the poaching rate and hatchling success as possible. Triangulation was done in order to locate and excavate the nests 70 days after the nest was laid for green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles or 75 for leatherback turtles. Triangulation was conducted using three pieces of flagging tape (tags), that featured the date, direction (N, C, S) and station name. These were attached to the vegetation behind the nest. The distance from the center of the egg chamber to each of these tags was measured to the nearest cm whilst the turtle was laying eggs. The distance to the most recent high tide line was also recorded. Triangulation is an accurate method for locating the egg chamber when the nest is due to be excavated. Three tags are used to compensate for the loss of any points of reference: if one tag is lost it is still possible to

25

locate the nest using the other two tags. Triangulation was also used during beach cleans to clear a pathway for the hatchlings. In addition to triangulated nests, all nests found because hatchlings or hatchling tracks were seen on the beach during morning or night surveys were excavated two days after the first hatchling tracks were encountered. For all excavations, the number of live and dead hatchlings, egg shells accounting for more than 50% of an egg, unhatched eggs with embryo, unhatched eggs without embryos and depredated eggs by crabs or other animals were counted and recorded. For all nests accurately marked and measured, the nest’s fate was determined. Nests which were not marked or unable to be excavated were excluded from the analysis. The following nest fate categories were applied: natural, poached, predated, eroded and unknown. Empty egg chambers were classified as poached nests. If there was any doubt about the fate of a nest it was categorized as unknown. During all excavations the distance from the top of the sand to the top of the eggs as well as the top of the sand to the bottom of the egg chamber was measured. 4.3.6 Disguising nests

For all leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead nests a considerable effort was put into disguising the nests from poachers. Several strategies were used, such as erasing the tracks with a long piece of wood, throwing dry sand all over the area, sweeping the sand with a coconut leaf, placing logs and other debris on top of the nest and remove them later, etc. At times, the efforts were abandoned due to people approaching or dogs barking. 4.3.7 Collection of human impact data

During each night survey, the number of red and white mobile lights, fires, locals and tourists on the beach were recorded. It was noted when there were tour groups of more than ten on the beach. Each month during the new moon the number of stationary white and red lights was recorded.

26

4.4

Results

During this phase, the data collected reflects part of the 2007 leatherback turtle nesting season that occurred from 21st March to 11th June. The season officially started on 8th March, when the first leatherback track was seen on morning census, and continued through to the following phase, until 27th June, when the last leatherback was recorded. 4.4.1 Daily track census and nest surveys for leatherbacks

Based on daily and nightly patrols a total of 67 leatherback tracks were encountered on the Playa Norte: 45 nests and 22 half moons, as opposed to 52 nest and 21 half moons for the same period in 2006. Based on morning census surveys, 9.09% of the nests were poached (n=4), 4.55% eroded (n=2), 0% predated, 75.00% natural (n=33), and 11.36% unknown (n=5) as shown in figure 4-1 and table 4-1.

11.11%

4.44%

8.89%

Eroded Natural Poached Unknown

75.56%

Figure 4-1 Nest status based on morning census from 21 Costa Rica.

st

March to 11

th

June, 2007. Playa Norte,

27

The data during 2006 showed that out of a total of 52 leatherback nests, 55.77% seemed to be left in their natural state without any signs of poaching, erosion or predation, 30.77% appeared to had been poached, 5.77% of the nests were affected by the erosion, and for the remaining 7.69% was not possible to determine whether they were poached, eroded or left in their natural state (table 4-1). Season 10 weeks 2006 10 weeks 2007 Natural 55.77% 75.00% Poached 30.77% 9.09%
st th

Unknown 7.69% 11.36%
June 2006 and 21
st

Eroded 5.77% 4.55%
March to 11
th

Table 4-1. Nest fate for leatherback turtle nests 1 March to 15 June 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.

The horizontal distribution of these nests on the beach was 84.44% in the open area (n=38), 15.56% in the border (n=7), and none in the vegetation, similar to this time of the year during the 2006 season, when the majority (90.38%) of the nest where in the open and none in the vegetation. The seasonal distribution (from 21st of March to 11th of June) of leatherback turtles nesting on the Playa Norte is shown in figure 4-2.

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Leatherback Nests 10 9 8 Number of nests or half moons 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Leatherback Half Moons

w/c 06 May

w/c 13 May

w/c 20 May

w/c 01 April

w/c 08 April

w/c 15 April

w/c 22 April

w/c 29 April

w/c 27 May

w/c 03 June

w/c 18 March

w/c 25 March

Week commencing

Figure 4-2 Seasonal nesting distribution of leatherback turtles between 21 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.

st

March and 11

th

There was one night with three leatherback nests (27th April), last year same leatherback activity was seen on 17th May and 13th June. Nine nights with two leatherback nests (3rd, 5th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 20th, and 23th of April, 2nd May and 5th June). The peak week with 9 nests and 6 half moons was the week of April 8th. The spatial distribution of leatherback turtle nests and half moons is shown in Figure 4-3. The sections of beach with the highest nest activity are miles 5/8, 7/8, 1, 2, and 3. During this time of the year in the 2006 season, the highest nest activity occurred at around mile 3/8, 5/8, 7/8, 1 5/8 and mile 2 7/8.

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w/c 10 June

June

Leatherback Nests 4

Leatherback Half Moon

Number of nests or half moons

0 1/8

1

2

3

2/8

3/8

4/8

5/8

6/8

7/8

1 1/8

1 2/8

1 3/8

1 4/8

1 5/8

1 6/8

1 7/8

2 1/8

2 2/8

2 3/8

2 4/8

2 5/8

2 6/8

2 7/8

Northern mile marker

Figure 4-3 Spatial nesting distribution of leatherback turtles on the Playa Norte between 21 March and 11 June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.
th

st

4.4.2

Tagging of leatherbacks

During phase 072, of the 30 leatherback turtles were encountered, 21 had been previously tagged, seven were newly tagged and two had no tags and were not tagged. Table 4-2 show the tag numbers that were applied by this programme.
Applied Monel Tags VA8240 VA8242 VA8252 VA8256 VA8258-VA8259 VA8261 VA8263-VA8264 VA8266-VA8270 VA8274-VA8275 VA8277-VA8279

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3 1/8

1

2

3

Table 4-2 Tag numbers applied to leatherback turtles 21 Costa Rica.

st

March to 11

th

June, 2007. Playa Norte,

On newly tagged turtles there was no evidence of old tag notches or holes (OTN or OTH). There were 26 individual leatherback turtles seen at night. A total of 4 leatherback individuals re-nested on Playa Norte, same number as last year. One re-nested three times and was seen twice in one night, first doing a half moon then nesting. Three turtles were seen twice. 4.4.3 Biometric data for leatherbacks

A total of 22 leatherbacks were measured during this phase. The mean CCLmin for leatherback turtles with caudal projection complete was 153.39 cm. The mean CCLmin for leatherback turtles with caudal projection incomplete was 150.83 cm as shown in table 4-2.
CCLmin (cm) X ± SD

Caudal Projection Complete Incomplete

N 23 2
st

153.39 ± 8.56 150.83 ± 2.40
March and 11
th

Table 4-3 Leatherback mean carapace length between 21 Costa Rica.

June, 2007. Playa Norte,

The mean CCW for all leatherbacks measure was 111.38 cm (n=22). The mean fertile eggs was 70.50 and the mean infertile eggs was 19.06 (n=16) as shown in table 4-3.

Carapace Width N Leatherbacks 22 CCWmax (cm) ± SD 111.38 ± 5.88 N 16 70.50 ± 18.99
st

Clutch Size Fertile eggs ± SD N 16
th

Yolkless ± SD 19.06 ± 10.18

Table 4-4 Leatherback mean CCWmax and clutch size between 21 March and 11 June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.

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4.4.4

Nest survivorship and hatchling success for leatherbacks

During morning patrols from 21st March to 11th June, a total of three sets of hatchling tracks were found on Playa Norte for all of which the egg chamber could be located. The mean incubation time for these three nests was 59.33 days. The minimum incubation time was 51 days and the maximum incubation time was 65 days. These three leatherback nests were excavated a minimum of two days after the tracks had been encountered and the data collected is summarized in Table 4-4.
Fertile eggs

# of nests

Alive hatchlings

Dead hatchlings

Shells >50%

Unhatched w/out embryo

Unhatched w/ embryo

Unknown

Yolkless eggs

Total eggs

3

0

2

140

79

15

0

66

266
nd

332

Table 4-1 Summary of excavation results for three leatherback turtle nests on Playa Norte from 21 March to 11 June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.
th

For the three nests excavated, the mean depth to the top of the eggs was 60 cm and the mean depth to the bottom of the egg chamber was 76.67 cm. See table 4-5 for hatching and emergence success of the three nests excavated on Playa Norte.
Excavated nests Total fertile eggs N=3 266 Total hatched eggs 140 Hatching success 52.63% Emergence success 51.88%
st

Table 4-2 Hatching and emerging success for three excavated leatherback turtle nests from 21 March to 11 June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.
th

Hatching and emerging success rates for the three hatched and then excavated nests were almost equal at 52.63% and 51.88% (n=3) respectively. 4.4.5 Fate of nests marked by triangulation for leatherbacks

A total of 17 leatherback nests was marked when the egg chamber was seen. Of these nests only one excavation was completed within phase 072. The turtle had laid only 5 eggs and upon excavating 2 eggs were found unhatched without embryos. Besides, 17 other leatherback nests were triangulated when the egg chamber was not seen. These triangulations have helped with identifying the areas to clean prior to

32

hatchling emergence. They will also be used to attempt to excavate if there are no other nests in the area. 4.4.6 Hawksbill, green, loggerhead activity

During phase 072 there were three hawksbill half moons and five hawksbill nests, five nest had been recorded by this time of the year in 2006. Two of the hawksbills were encountered and were tagged. Of the five nests one was poached and four were natural. Only six green turtle half moons and one green nest (natural) were observed during phase 072 along with one loggerhead half moon, as opposed to last year when by this time 12 green turtle and one loggerhead nests had been recorded. A full analysis of hawksbill and green activity will be done at the end of the season. 4.4.7 Human impact data

The number of tourists on Playa Norte is not monitored by the National Park or the Wildlife Refuge. Because of this, the project records any presence of locals and tourists in order to determine if their numbers are increasing or not. Table 4-6 shows the mean number of mobile red lights, mobile white lights, locals, tourists and fires on the beach per walk for nights when there were two walks.
# Mobile Red Lights # Mobile White Lights 0.39 2.44 0.11 1.50 # Locals 2.17 1.39 # Tourists 3.08 0.00
st

PM one team PM two team

# Fires 0.17 0.06
th

Table 4-3 Human impact data for nights with two teams on Playa Norte from 21 March to 11 June, 2007. Playa Norte, Costa Rica.

4.5

Discussion

This year marks the second season with night patrols on Playa Norte. Much knowledge has been gained between last season and this season and what has been learned has contributed to improvements in methodology, data collection and training. The protocol for this season was reviewed and updated and much effort is being put into collaborating with other turtle projects in order to discover what monitoring methods are best for Playa Norte. The data is now being stored in a database, which decreases human error and 33

has made data analysis much easier. Finally, training this season has been rigorous and largely field based in order to ensure proper data collection. It was clear from last year’s data that the poaching rate on Playa Norte was high and that more work was needed to be done to protect the critically endangered turtles (leatherbacks and hawksbills). It was decided that the program would have teams on the beach for as long as possible at night in order to deter poachers. From the beginning of the season there were two teams on most nights. Also, for each leatherback and hawksbill nest seen, a considerable effort was put into disguising the nests, much more than any disguising that occurred last season. At times, one to two hours was spent disguising a nest. For phase 072 the poaching rate was only 9.09% as compared to 30.77% from the same period last season, which could be a result of the effort put into disguising and the increase in hours spent on the beach. Because the poaching rate was so high, the program applied for a relocation license that would enable the relocation of leatherback or hawksbill nests. The relocation license was awarded to the program but not until towards the end of the leatherback season. It is hoped that for next year, the project will have a permit from the beginning of this season as we are starting to better understand the beach and poaching activities. Last season, triangulation was only completed for a couple leatherback nests. From the beginning of this season, all nests where the egg chamber was seen and many others have been triangulated. This will give a better insight into the true nest status and the hatchling success on Playa Norte. The program has also initiated “hatchling watches” this season. On each morning census the team monitors nests that are expected to hatch in order to excavate and find the true nest status of as many nests as possible. Thus far, one hatched nest has been located specifically because of this reason. In order to obtain better results from nesting female turtles, the aim of the project is to continue collecting data throughout the entire leatherback, hawksbill, loggerhead and green turtle nesting seasons. The final results will provide a better understanding of nesting behaviour, nest success, and the level of poaching on Playa Norte.

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5 EBCP Resident Bird Project
5.1 Introduction

Growing concerns about the status of birds in the rainforests of Central America has lead to the establishment of long-term monitoring programs. The Estación Biológica Caño Palma (EBCP) resident bird project (RBP) aims to quantify diversity and abundance of the species which live and breed in the area of Caribbean Lowland Rainforest around EBCP, 7km north of Tortuguero National Park. The nature of Costa Rica’s bird life has meant that it has been a popular location to study behaviour and diversity for many years. Much of this focus has been directed towards migratory birds and the information on resident species is still in need of considerable research. The GVI protocol is modified from the original protocol created by Steven Furino of Waterloo University Canada. The modifications have been made to the protocol so that data collectors with minimal field experience are able to collect high quality data suitable for the study. This has involved reducing the number of species and study areas as well as limiting the amount of technical data collected on species. In all other aspects the research follows the original protocol. 5.2 Aim

This research program is intended to accumulate data that will help researchers answer the following questions. • How frequently do pelagic species visit the Caribbean Coast? Is there any pattern to their visits? • • • 5.3 When, exactly, do resident birds breed in coastal areas and swamp forests? What can be learned about the breeding and nesting behaviour of resident birds? Are breeding activities and climate correlated? Methodology

This project has adopted standard survey techniques so that suitable comparisons can be made against data sets gathered by other researchers. 35

For each Resident Bird Project (RBP) survey the following general data was recorded: • • • • • Name of study site Name of primary surveyor Date of survey Start time (using a 24 hour clock) End time (using a 24 hour clock) Area searches

5.3.1

An area search records all study species seen or heard while searching a predetermined area. See appendix A for exact locations of each area. Within each area, sectors have been selected to aid with data collection and analysis. These sectors have been selected to include a broad variation of habitats within the study areas. For each area search only positively identified species were recorded. For each positive record made the following data was collected: • • • • Station code at which species was observed Number seen or heard (S: seen only, H: heard only, SH: seen and heard) The number of males, females, and juveniles Any notes on breeding plumage or behaviour Incidental observations

5.3.2

An incidental observation was made while one was not engaged specifically in area searches or point counts. Incidental observations covered all times of day and night when birds might have been observed. Only species that have been classed as uncommon, rare or vagrant in the Widdowson and Widdowson – Tortuguero species checklist 2004 were recorded. 5.4 5.4.1 Results Survey data

During phase 072 a total of 24 RBP surveys were undertaken as opposed to 56 on the same period last year due to a change in study sites and methods. An equal effort was 36

made on all study sites: eight surveys were undertaken on Caño Palma (6 AM surveys and 2 PM surveys), eight on Caño Harold (6 AM surveys and 2 PM surveys), and eight on Caño Chiquero (7 AM surveys and 1 PM survey). A total of 23 species were recorded on the three study sites. See figure 5-1 for a summary of the number of species seen and surveys conducted for each study area, with Caño Palma showing the smallest number of species and individuals.

30

25

20

15

Sum of # Surveys Sum of # Species Sum of # Individuals/5

10

5

0 Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Caño Palma

Figure 5-1 Total number of species and surveys on aquatic trails, Caño Chiquero, Caño Harold and Caño Palma, Costa Rica.

The number of key species recorded during surveys on Caño Chiquero, Caño Harold, and Caño Palma are illustrated in figures 5-2, 5-3, and 5-4 respectively.

37

20

18

16

14

12 10

8

6

4

2 0 Snowy Egret American Pygmy Kingfisher Green Ibis Green Heron Sungrebe Little Blue Heron Northern jacana Anhinga Bare-throated TigerHeron Green Kingfisher Amazon Kingfisher Purple Gallinule Gray-necked Wood-Rail Spotted Sandpiper Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher Ringed Kingfisher

Figure 5-2 Number of key species recorded during surveys of Caño Chiquero aquatic trail, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

The five most frequently observed species in the Caño Chiquero aquatic trail survey were: bare-throated tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum), northern jacana (Jacana spinosa), green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana), green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), and green heron (Butorides virescens). The rare and uncommon species observed during the survey on Caño Chiquero were the green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) and purple gallinule (Porphyrio martinica).

38

20

18

16

14

12 10

8

6

4

2 0 American Pygmy Kingfisher Little Blue Heron Northern jacana Boat-Billed Heron Rufescent Tiger-Heron Bare-throated TigerHeron Amazon Kingfisher Green Kingfisher Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher Ringed Kingfisher Tricolored Heron Gray-necked Wood-Rail Muscovy Duck Snowy Egret Green Heron Cattle Egret Green Ibis Anhinga Agami Heron Sungrebe

Figure 5-3 Number of key species recorded during surveys of Caño Harold aquatic trail, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

The five most frequently observed species in the afternoon survey on Caño Harold were: northern jacana (Jacana spinosa), bare-throated tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum), green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), and green heron (Butorides virescens). The rare and uncommon species observed during the survey on Caño Harold were the agami heron (Agamia agami), green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), muscovy duck (Cairina moschata), rufescent tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum), and tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor).

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18

16

14

12

10

8

6

4

2

0 Green Ibis Anhinga Green Kingfisher Green Heron BareRinged throated Kingfisher Tiger-Heron Graynecked Wood-Rail Amazon Kingfisher Belted Cattle Egret Green-and- Rufescent Kingfisher Rufous Tiger-Heron Kingfisher

Figure 5-4 Number of key species recorded during surveys on Caño Palma, Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica.

The five most frequently observed species on Caño Palma survey were: green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana), green heron (Butorides virescens), and bare-throated tigerheron (Tigrisoma mexicanum). The rare and uncommon species observed during the survey on Caño Palma were the green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), and rufescent tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum). 5.4.2 Incidental observations

For the incidental species observed during this phase, see appendix B. 5.5 Discussion

The EBCP Resident Bird Project monitoring survey began in July of 2005 and is an ongoing project. Further collection of data is important in order to establish reliable trends for local bird species.

40

The EBCP Resident Bird Project surveys undertaken during phase 072 have assisted in increasing the overall data set. They have also helped in identifying areas where continued improvement to the methodology is required in order to gain the most useful and accurate data.

6 Tourist Impact Survey on Caño Palma
6.1 Introduction

Caño Palma canal is located within the Barra Colorado Wildlife Refuge, immediately north of the river Penitencia, 7 km northwest of Tortuguero village and the Tortuguero National Park (TNP). Although not part of the national park, at the time of the report this caño (canal) was included in the Management Plan for Visitors for Tortuguero National Park, as it provided a suitable alternative to the national park for wildlife viewing and thus helped reduce the demand on other caños that were within the park’s boundaries (Bermúdez & Hernández, 2004). Proposed restrictions on the number of boats allowed into TNP were put in place in 2006. This is likely to have caused an increase in the number of tourist boats using Caño Palma. Thus, data collection before and after the restriction was important. Further data collection will continue in order to monitor any change in tourist activity. 6.2 Aims

The tourist impact survey on Caño Palma aims to estimate the intensity of tourist activity within the greater Tortuguero area. 6.3 Methodology

Each Boat Dock Survey commenced at 06:00 and continued for 12 consecutive hours. The following data was collected for all aquatic vehicles that pass and/or turn into the boat dock of the biological station: • • • • Time of observation Whether the boat was used by tourists and by which lodge Number of passengers/tourists on each boat Boat name and/or number 41

• • •

Direction the boat was heading Time spent on canal/Return time Engine type

Any additional information potentially significant at a later date was recorded in notes. 6.4 Results

Seven Boat Dock Surveys were undertaken during phase 072. Boats carrying tourists accounted for 37% (n=67) of traffic whereas non-tourist boats accounted for 63% (n=113). The total number of boats was 180 and the average number of boats per day was 26. The average number of passengers in each boat was 6.8 (figure 6.1).
Year # surveys Total boats 2006 2007 8 7 152 180 Tourist boats 46% (70) 37% (67) Non tourist boats 54% (82) 63% (113) Average # boats p/day Data not available 26 Average # passengers Data not available 6.8

Figure 6-1 Number of boats, type, and number of passengers circulating on Caño Palma, Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica.

6.5

Discussion

The boat dock survey began in 2006 to collect baseline data. As data collection continues, trends will be revealed with regards to high and low traffic times and the types of canal users.. With increased restrictions in the National Park it was presumed that tourist traffic would increase on Caño Palma and therefore have an impact on local species. As the presence of rare and sensitive species had been recorded by the Caño Palma Biological Station, it was important to note that tourist presence could have a significant impact on local flora and fauna and therefore require further attention and management. The current data can give no direct indication of affect on wildlife but it can demonstrate the change in tourist presence and general activity in Caño Palma. With standardized collection methods now in place the data from 072 can be compared to future phases to estimate tourist impact on the canals flora and fauna.

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7 Reforestation
7.1 Introduction

The Reforestation project was started in 2006 by Mario Quesada of the Canadian Organisation for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC). Seeds from the area were collected, cultivated and then replanted in the San Francisco area. The project is now based around collecting seeds and saplings from key native species in the area and replanting them on the Biological Station property as well as in the San Francisco community. One species that was selected as a key species was the almendro de montaña (Dipteryx panamensis). This tree was identified as a tree depended upon by great green macaws (Ara ambigua) for nesting and feeding and is also a habitat for other endangered species. It is the primary hard wood used for truck beds, wood flooring and other such applications (Chassot & Arias, 2002). For this reason, it has been heavily logged in the Tortuguero area. Another important species is the ojoche (Brosimun allicastrom) which is desirable as it is a versatile hardwood. 7.2 Aim

This project aims to collect seeds and saplings from key species of plants in the area, harvest them, and then replant the species on Caño Palma property and in the San Francisco community in order to increase the number of native fruiting and hardwood trees used by local species of wildlife. 7.3 7.3.1 Methodology Seed collection

When a seeding tree was found, as many seeds as possible were collected from the ground. Seeds were put into a bag with the species name written on the outside. Seeds were planted as quickly as possible. If it was not possible to plant the seeds immediately, they were stored in their respective bags or in dry newspaper in the shade (up to three months). It is also possible to put seeds in water for 24 hours in order to encourage germination. Seeds covered with flesh could not be stored in plastic bags due to rotting, so they were instead stored in a pot, or container where there was more airflow. 43

7.3.2

Sapling collection

When collecting saplings they were put into the large black plant bags. Soil composition was comprised of a mix of fifty percent organic soil and fifty percent local ground-soil. When possible, all equipment was taken to site in order to bag saplings directly and thus reduce trauma to the plants. If equipment could not be brought along, saplings were bagged immediately upon arrival at the station. When saplings were extracted, care was taken not to tear the roots. A spade or trowl was used to dig around the sapling and carefully remove it from the earth. Any excess of dirt was shaken off and the sapling was planted into the bag using the organic mix. Dirt was also taken from local areas to replenish the supply. The area was always cleaned afterwards because many of the trees are found on private property. 7.3.3 Bagging seeds and saplings

Every new species bagged was given a number which was recorded in the Reforestation Log Book along with the date and the number of the species bagged that day. If the species had previously been recorded the originally assigned number was continued. The species number and date was also written on a piece of duct tape and stuck to the outside of the bag. Seeds were put roughly one inch below the surface of the soil when bagged and any sapling roots were completely covered. Bagged plants were stored in crates, organized together with others of the same species, and kept on the plant table located in the nursery on the northern side of the dormitories. 7.3.4 Replanting

Replanting took place after seeds had sprouted and saplings had grown new roots. Areas were specially designated before planting took place. When a seedling or sapling was planted it was ensured that the entire root ball was covered. The plant was taken out of the bag and placed into the hole, which was then filled. Plants were placed in an area where they were most likely to survive and would not be trampled. When the planting was finished the plant was watered. Most of the replanting took place on private property in collaboration with the owners or residents. Five ojoche saplings were also planted along the Raphia trail and more sites have been selected in preparation for the next set of saplings. 44

7.4

Results The

In this phase the seeds of almendro de montaña and ojoche were collected.

saplings of the ojoche were collected and transferred into plastic bags to be planted in the community. The seeds of the guanábana fruit (Annona muricata) should also be forthcoming from a tree on the Cabinas Vista al Mar property during phase 073. Approximately 95 almendro de montaña, 150 ojoche seeds and 10 ojoche saplings were collected. Unfortunately, approximately 50 of the ojoche seeds were lost due to dehydration, leaving approximately 100 bagged and set up in the nursery. At the midpoint of phase 072, about 15 of the almendro de montaña had sprouted (taking around three weeks to do so) and multiple ojoche saplings were ready for planting. Approximately 15 of the almendro saplings were planted during the Earth Day community event which took place in April 2007 in San Francisco. Furthermore, many of the ojoche, sonzapote, and almendro de montaña saplings were planted near the school. A pineapple plant, a peace lilly, ojoche saplings, and sonzapote were planted around base. Five more ojoche saplings were planted on the Raphia trail. Much of the time during phase 072 was dedicated to the organization and preparation of the reforestation project and nursery on base, which is now found on the Northern edge of the dormitory building. New tables were built and a system for watering, fertilizing, weeding and observing the plants was initiated. Mario Quesada also guided a tour of the Cerro and of the medicinal plant garden at Turtle Beach lodge. This was recorded using a dictaphone and many photos were taken in order to create a presentation and database of many of the local plants of interest. 7.5 Discussion

The project began this year and research is ongoing for species that are of local importance and have been depleted in the area. The project is still being developed and methodology will change as more research is done. During the next phase we will be able to continue planting the seeds and saplings that were collected this phase. This will involve the community in order to help re-establish populations of the species in the San Francisco area. 45

Some of the future goals of the reforestation project are: Survey community to find useful, desired plants for the area Take cuttings from different trees in the area Use cardboard boxes instead of plastic bags or some other more environmentally sound practice Visit INBio and look at COTERC’s computer for plant information Create a plant field guide for the species found at the station Create a plant database based on tours given by Mario Quesada Plant at local lodges

8 Incidentals
8.1 8.1.1 EBCP Incidentals Introduction

The Estación Biológica Caño Palma (EBCP) Incidental project was initiated during phase 071 at the request of the EBCP management in order to help gain a greater knowledge of the species seen on the property. Although the project was in its early days, it progressed well and new areas of study developed with the experience of the surveyors. 8.1.2 Aims

The project aim was to help gain an understanding of the type of species using the station property and to help observe the effect caused by the presence of people at the station. 8.1.3 Methodology

Each day all species of wildlife were recorded in a log book and database. All birds observed at the EBCP were recorded using the name of the species only whereas the following data was collected for all other fauna: • • • • Numbers of individuals Sex Location Stage of development 46

Any other relevant notes

In addition the following information was recorded for the primates observed from the canal within 100m north and south of the Caño Palma boundary line. • • • • Position in habitat (High, Medium, Low) Position, East or West side of the canal GPS position Observed behaviour

Observed behaviour was divided into broad categories such as climbing, eating, tail use, grooming, vocalizing, and whether there was a juvenile on their front or back. Multiple observations were taken whilst the individual remained in view, and the amount of time observed was recorded. 8.1.4 Results

The most commonly recorded bird species were the white-collared manakin (Manacus candei) recorded 68 days, the great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) recorded 65 days, the collared aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) recorded 44 days and the keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) recorded 43 days. The most commonly recorded amphibians were the marine toad (Bufo marinus), recorded 14 days, and the strawberry poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) recorded 12 days. The most commonly recorded reptiles were the festive jungle runner (Ameiva festiva), recorded 31 days, the green iguana (Iguana iguana), recorded 12 days and the yellowheaded gecko (Gonatodes albogularis), recorded 11 days. Around the biological station base the most commonly recorded primate was the spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) recorded 20 days followed by the mantled howler monkey (Allouata palliata) recorded 18 days.

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8.2 8.2.1

Primates Introduction

The Primate Monitoring Project was initiated by the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Education (COTERC) in 2006. It was a behavioural study of the three species of primates found on the Caribbean slope: mantled howler monkey, (Alouatta palliata), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), and the white faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus). All species suffer from habitat destruction, the spider and mantled howler monkey are hunted for food, and both the howler and white-faced capuchin are subject to commercial export (Nowak, 1999). Research on these primates is essential for their conservation. A preliminary study was conducted within the boundaries of the biological station, with a large scope of information recorded. As the project develops further it is expected that the information gathered will become more specific in order to meet the aims which were yet to be finalized. 8.2.2 Aims

The aim of this project was to collect data for future study on Caribbean slope primate behaviour. 8.2.3 Methodology

The survey was conducted from a kayak or canoe, over a two hour period along the Caño Palma waterway. The property lines indicated the boundary of the study, which consisted of recording every primate seen and noting individual behaviours. Researchers moved slowly along the canals when surveying for primates. When a primate was observed researchers remained in the vicinity until all possible data was collected. Equipment needed: • • • Notebook and pencil Handheld GPS Binoculars 48

The following was recorded on each survey: • • • • Date: DD/MM/YY Start Time End Time Survey Team

The following was recorded for each primate sighting: • • • • • • Start time Finish time Species Stage (Adult, Sub Adult or Juvenile) GPS position Orientation (recorded as W or E to indicate whether the sighting was on the west or east side of the canal) • Habitat (G-ground, L-low, M-medium, H- high)

The categories of behaviour recorded were as follows: • • • • • • • • • Eating, recorded as F-fruit, L-leaves, or UK-unknown Resting Climbing Tail use Juvenile on front Juvenile on back Grooming Vocalizing Auto-grooming Results

8.2.4

All three species of primates found on the Caribbean slope were observed during incidental observations: the white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus), Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and the mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata). 49

There were a total of 107 observations of primates, 46 of these were from Caño Palma Biological Station. There were 61 observations from the canal of which 52% were on the East and 43% on the West side of the canal. The three primates species were observed crossing the canal both east and west. In terms of their location within the trees and vegetation, most were seen High (n=30) followed by Medium (n=20). High to Medium was recorded five times, Medium to Low (1) and Low (5). The adult spider monkey (n= 41) was the most frequently observed followed by the subadult spider monkey (n=7) and the adult mantled howler monkey (n=7). One unknown spider monkey, 2 sub-adult mantled howler monkeys, and three white-faced capuchins were also recorded during surveys. Of the observed behaviours (eating, resting, climbing, tail use, juvenile on front/back, grooming, auto-grooming, vocalizing) the most frequent were tail use (n= 44), climbing (n= 33), and vocalizing (n= 22). There were 13 sightings of monkeys eating fruit (n=1), leaves (n=11) or both (n=1). There was also a sighting of a white-faced capuchin eating a small jesus christ lizard (Basilisk sp.). 8.2.5 Discussion

Although the species journal could be used as a way of keeping track of species in the area it very much depended on the people around the station to maintain consistent data. Quality of record keeping varied because the observations were highly dependent on the daily schedule, the number of people on base and their interest. More sightings may have taken place than were reflected in the data. Due to the diversity of species in the area and their habitat within the vegetation, it was also possible that species were seen that could not be identified. Identification cards and introductory presentations were made to make this process easier. In comparison to Phase 071, there were more recorded sightings of birds and monkeys. This may be due to the identification cards and more intensive training. The most frequently recorded wildlife was quite similar to the previous phase (great kiskadee, white-collared manakin), with a few different species being recorded more often. The rufous-tailed hummingbird was recorded much less frequently during this phase which could be due to problems in identification. 50

We will continue to collect incidental data as a baseline for species in the area. With a more comprehensive database, information can be used as a guide to potential changes in species populations within the area.

9 Tourism Surveys in Tortuguero Village
In phase 072, GVI has been conducting tourism surveys within the village of Tortuguero on behalf of MINAE and the National Park. The aims are to determine the carrying capacity for the park and also to gauge the general opinions on the park of tourists visiting it. The data is collected by distributing and asking tourists seen to complete a questionnaire formulated by MINAE. Information gathered broadly covers a) how they came to visit Tortuguero, b) estimating their use of the park and local resources whilst visiting both in and outside the park itself, c) gauging a suitable entry fee and d) general demographic data. Currently these surveys occur twice weekly in a broadly opportunistic method. Blank surveys have also been left at cooperating local lodges to be filled in by guests returning from tours of the park. Currently the data is incomplete and not yet ready to be submitted to MINAE, this will likely be possible following one further phase of data has been collected, at which point the completed questionnaires will be given to MINAE.

10 Capacity building programme
10.1 English teaching 10.1.1 Introduction People of different nationalities increasingly use English as a common language in order to communicate with one another. Costa Rica, and in particular Tortuguero, hosts a growing number of international visitors each year. The people living in this area rely heavily on the international community and the tourism market. Acquisition of English language skills by the local people will therefore provide them with future access to the growing market. 10.1.2 Aims The main aims of the English teaching programme are as follows: 51

• • •

Increase community training and therefore, more possibilities of getting a better job Language and culture exchange Provide authentic opportunities for local students to practice listening to and speaking English with native speakers

10.2 Environmental Education 10.2.1 Introduction

In order to ensure the future of the environment it is essential to educate the local community on the matter. This education is most efficiently integrated into the community when it is directed toward the children. In this way, the children will grow up knowing from an early age what damage they can potentially cause to the environment, therefore, affecting their livelihood. The hope is that if taught from a young age, the future generations of San Francisco will sustain and respect their surroundings. 10.2.2 Aims The main aims of the Environmental teaching programme are as follows: • • Community training/capacity building. Generate community commitment to environment conservation and sustainable development. 10.3 Intercambio 10.3.1 Introduction An Intercambio (exchange) programme allows volunteers to learn Spanish and teach English in a comfortable and relaxed manner. Topics range from music, family, special interests, work, and simply talking about life in general. 10.3.2 Aims • • Language and culture exchange Provide authentic opportunities for local students to practice listening to and speaking English with native speakers

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10.4 Methodology for English teaching and Environmental Education 10.4.1 Training Teacher training was integrated into the weekly schedule within the ten weeks. All EMs were briefed on the previous curricula and material covered by past expeditions. Training was done through pre-class organization sessions in which the teaching team would create a lesson plan and prepare the various props needed. More training was then done after the class with a casual review of what went well during the lesson and what needed improvement. Due to the absence of a TEFL intern who had been working with GVI in previous phases, the teaching team needed to be extra creative and receptive in order to fill the void. Ideally, a community intern would be present for at least the entire phase in order to maintain the quality and consistency we are striving for. Furthermore, adult teaching was postponed for this phase in order to maintain the quality of the lessons, which had been happening four times a week. 10.4.2 Practice The students that were taught in the San Francisco community ranged in both their amount of English language skills and their age. The youngest were approximately seven, while the oldest were 13 years old. Due to this dynamic, the teaching team chose themes that were basic and required no previous English training. There was always an opportunity to expand on the lesson at the end of the scheduled class, when many of the kids went out to participate in activities and others stayed to continue learning with a few of the Expedition Members. Children’s English classes were held in San Francisco each Friday afternoon at 15:00. Each week, the EMs decided on class material and used a team-teaching approach. Before each lesson, the EM teachers and the community teaching intern met for a briefing on teaching methods and organization of the students. Generally, each class was divided into smaller groups to give the children more individual attention. Classes were one hour followed by a recreation period where anything from football, field games, personal tutoring, and general conversation took place.

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The Environmental Education classes were held on Thursday afternoons at 15:00. These also lasted an hour and focused primarily on animals and plants that inhabit the local region. Much of the lessons were conducted in Spanish, with the occasional English words included. A complete outline of each English and Conservation class can be seen below. In addition to its commitment to San Francisco, GVI also continued to work with the locally run Canopy staff members from Evergreen Lodge. During this phase Intercambio took place 10.4.3 Results GVI has lived up to its commitment. Each week the children of San Francisco were exposed to both an English lesson and Environmental Education classes. The children became more and more involved in the classes as time progressed. This connection between child and EM was fostered throughout the programme. More and more activities were organised with the community, which made a huge difference in trust building and was a real stepping-stone within the community. Having the community intern (Alec Morrison) for ten weeks at the beginning of this year also had a positive impact. The quality of the English lessons, the organization of the classes, and the constant presence in the community pushed forward our community project and really helped with future events. During phase 8 football games took off. To maintain our reputation after last phases monumental win over the Taxistas de Cariari, GVI got involved with Turtle Beach Lodge, Evergreen, CCC and some San Francisco locals. Friendly competition, many laughs and memorable events took place over these afternoons. The relationship between GVI and all of these groups improved remarkably over the past 3 months and proved that GVI is a positive force within the community. In April 2006 and 2007, GVI and COTERC organized a get-together at the San Francisco school to celebrate Earth Day. Everyone got involved with garbage pick up which expanded into storytelling around turtle conservation and a lunch with the kids. We also cooked by a local woman and a mother who works in the cafeteria. It was a great event with lots of enthusiasm from the kids, who really enjoyed planting trees 54

(almendro de montaña seedlings) all over the community. They were planted on private property, arranged by Alec in the community. To cap off the end of phase 8, a “Gran Fiesta” was organized. Everyone got involved in the afternoon and it turned out to be a huge success. Not only did over 50 kids show up, but many of their family members as well, especially the women in the community. Approximately 60-70 people could be seen juggling, in obstacle races, limbo, skipping rope, wheelbarrow racing, drawing, playing bingo, pin the tail on the turtle, or simply sitting around chatting. The Jell-O, pancakes, and juice went over well and music could be heard throughout. It was important to get the adults involved as much as possible, especially the women, since they are less likely to attend the other social events such as soccer games or nights at Don Edgar’s and are paramount to the kids attendance to classes as well as our new Environmental Education classes. During this event, many of the local families (mainly women) joined the GVI team for the fiesta, demonstrating that not only was a bond between child and EM formed, but also a bond between GVI and the adults of San Francisco. The intercambio at the Canopy also proceeded successfully, allowing both EMs and Canopy staff to learn foreign languages and enjoy each other’s company. 10.5 Discussion GVI’s teaching and community involvement programs are invaluable tools in maintaining relations between GVI and the local residents. These initiatives provide unique opportunities and foster both cultural and environmental awareness. Future goals of the community and teaching include more community work and a more fine-tuned teaching program. Some ideas for involving the adults (due to the cancellation of adult classes) and children include movie nights, cultural presentations, a description of the work GVI takes part in, dance lessons or a local dance, fundraisers for the children and the school, barbeque, homestays or community work, and more organized games such as football. 1.5 Outlines Phase 072 Lesson Outlines for English Teaching and Conservation Education 55

For each class it is the goal of the teaching team to review the previous classes’ material. May 24, 2007 English Teaching Our lesson planning consisted of colours. First, we quizzed the kids on their basic colors: yellow, red, orange, pink, blue, green, brown and purple. We did this by creating signs with the name of the color using the coinciding marker to write each. They responded well to this activity and many had learned the colors previously and were quite fluent. The only colour they struggled with was “Purple.” They often pronounced the “e” as an “a” sound, which is the way it is pronounced in the Spanish language. After quizzing them on these colours, we taught them to say two phrases: “What is your favourite colour?” and “My favorite colour is.” The kids also did well with this exercise; however a good portion had trouble pronouncing “favourite.” Each of the kids told us their favourite colour within the context of the new phrase they had learned. When this was completed, we passed out a colour by numbers activity. They all did extremely well with this and were extraordinarily behaved. They loved it! At the very end of class we rewarded each child with a sticker. We asked them individually what their favourite colour was, and when they answered we gave them that color sticker accordingly. Overall it was a very successful class. Attendance for this day was not recorded. May 25, 2007 Environmental Education Our lesson plan was centered on the conservation of turtles. In order to get our point across, we first asked the children general questions about turtles. Some of these questions included: “Who likes turtles?” “What are the four types of turtles?” “Have you ever seen a turtle and what type?” and “Who likes to eat turtle eggs/meat?” It was interesting because although the children were enthusiastic about the first question, they were equally enthused about the last one. Perhaps the connection between enjoying the turtles as animals and enjoying the turtles as food has never been addressed. After working through this discussion, we read a story that the teaching crew had prepared prior to the class. This story was, in essence, about the life cycle of a turtle named Tina. We made the story personal, giving all the characters names. The kids were very entertained by it and remained attentive and well behaved. The story led into 56

a vocabulary review. The teaching crew chose the following words for the kids to learn: nest, eggs, turtle, whale, lobster, sea, sand and fish. They did very well with these. The only words they struggled with were “whale,” and “lobster.” Once the kids had retained these words, we set up a game for them to play. It consisted of laying the vocabulary cards on the floor and shouting out a vocabulary word. The first student to touch that word was rewarded with a sticker. They really loved this activity and as we knew from the last class, they also love stickers! Attendance for this day was not recorded. May 31, 2007 Environmental Education This environmental education session focused on plants and the importance they hold within the community of San Francisco. In order to convey this message, the teaching team thought it was important to educate the children on the anatomy of “the plant.” To do this, we created one model of a plant in total (the leaves, stem, flower, fruit, and roots) and then diagramed the parts independently. This allowed the children to visualize the parts of the plant and how they functioned together to form a whole. The diagrams were held up as we read the text that corresponded to each part. After explaining a synoptic version of how a plant feeds itself and lives, we educated the class on why plants are important to them personally. We explained that plants were essential to the natural beauty San Francisco had to offer. This beauty attracted tourists, which is good for the community. We tried to keep this explanation brief and to the point to avoid confusion. The activity that followed consisted of us breaking up the class into five groups. Each group was assigned a part of the plant to draw. As they coloured, we quizzed them intermittently on the English word for each. It was a relaxing pace and definitely a success. Attendance below. June 1, 2007 English Teaching For our English lesson the teaching team chose the subject of fruits and vegetables. We decided that the best way to teach this would be to physically bring in the fruits and vegetables. We brought pineapple, banana, apple, cucumber, tomato, potato, lemon and avocado. The introduction consisted of us showing them the foods and allowing them to 57

scream out what they were in Spanish. This way, they could feel as though they already knew some of the lesson and would be more inclined to participate. After clarifying the English words for each food, we set up the fruits and vegetables in designated areas of the room. Our game was similar to the game played during conservation education on the 25th of May, 2007. One member of the teaching team would call out the name of the fruit/vegetable in English and the kids would have to find that food. The first one to point/touch the correct food was the winner. This took a short amount of time, and when finished, we coloured. This was not as restricted as other colouring sessions. The kids drew all or most of the foods while conversing freely with the EMs. The class ended with planting. Due to the weather the week before, we were not able to carry out our original plan of planting with the kids. We compensated by planting several plants outside the school with the children. Although it was messy, it was fun and they enjoyed it thoroughly. Attendance for this day was not recorded. June 7, 2007 Environmental Education This lesson was about snakes; in particular, poisonous snakes in the local area. In order to keep the lesson plan simple, the teaching team chose three snakes that inhabit the region: the coral, the fer-de-lance, and the eyelash palm pit viper. A write up was completed prior to the lesson including information about each snake, what they eat and how their poison works. We presented the information in the first person so that the kids would be more prone to pay attention. After presenting the information and asking the children if they had ever spotted any of these snakes, we acted out a skit. The skit was designed to educate the children on the proper way to react when one approaches a snake. In the skit, the two team members performing encounter a snake on the path. They were startled and not sure what to do. After suggesting several ways to deal with the snake, the two team members picked the correct choice, which was to calmly back away from it. The kids enjoyed the show and clapped profusely. While everyone was settling back down, the teaching team handed out pictures with the outline of a coral snake for the kids to colour. We wrote the order of the colours (red, yellow, black, yellow) on the board and invited them to colour accordingly. This exercise allowed them to really visualize what a coral snake looks like and also to review colours from a previous lesson. The 58

theme we really stuck to throughout the lesson was that snakes do not mean to cause harm and that they should not be killed when spotted. I think that we made this clear and hopefully got through to some of the students. Attendance below June 8, 2007 English teaching Today’s English teaching was relatively informal, allowing us to work one-on-one with the students for the greater portion of class. The class began with a review of some classroom vocabulary. These words included: chalk, chalkboard, door, window, desk, chair, table, book, and map. The teaching team brought labels so that we could tag each item in the classroom appropriately. After a somewhat long review, in which the kids took notes from the board, we played a game. The game was similar to the other “touch” games we had played in the past, this time it just involved classroom objects. The kids did well with it and were relieved to be doing some physical activity. The team had also made post-its with the names of the objects on them before class. We handed around these post-its and asked the kids to find and stick the post-it on the correlating object. A few struggled with this but were resourceful enough to grab and check their notebooks where they had written down each of the English words with the Spanish translations. After this activity we casually split into groups. During this small-group time we were able to, again, review the words and then use the rest of the class to get to know one another. This is a very important part of our education program. We want to develop close ties with the community so that we can work together to conserve the surrounding National Park. All in all it was time well spent. Attendance for this day was not recorded. 1.5.1 Attendance
Attendance 31/05/2007 Reichell Dayn Garcia Lopez Yendry Martines Garcies Katherin Gomes Aragon Valeri Venegas Vargas Melannie Ramirez Rodriguez Bianka Laleska Gomez Rivas Marta Diaz Rodriguez Present Present Present Present Present Present Present 07/06/2007 Absent Absent Present Absent Present Present Present

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Kimberly Karina Ruiz Vargas Evanny Marciel Bermudez Jaen Brayan Joel Gomez Aragon Karelis Rosas Palacios Mariela S.C.C. Allison Anielka Abella Rivas

Present Present Present Present Present Present

Present Absent Present Absent Present Present

10.6 Suggestions for the future It is recommended that for future classes there should be more pre-lesson planning. Understandably, the organization of the programme changes based on the presence of the community intern and his or her TEFL training. However, increasing the time period before the class in order to better prepare would be very helpful. Another tip is to better acquaint the teaching team with the Spanish words that they will be using during the session. This would hopefully prevent the children from constantly correcting the teaching staff and allow them to listen more to the information being presented and less to the team’s grammatical errors. Combining teaching and community events will only increase our presence in the community and encourage more individuals to attend classes.

11 References
Aranda, J.M. 2000. Huellas y otros rastros de los mamíferos grandes y medianos de México. Instituto de Ecología, A.C. Veracruz, México. Autar, L. 1994. Sea turtles attacked and killed by Jaguars in Suriname. Marine Turtle Newsletter 67:11-12. Bass, A.L., Lagueux, C.J. & Bowen, B.W. 1998. Origin of green turtles, Chelonia mydas, at “Sleeping Rocks” off the Northeast coast of Nicaragua. Copeia 4: 1064-1069. Carr, A. 1980. Some problems of sea turtle ecology. American Zoologist 20(3): 489-498.

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Carr, A. & Carr, M.J. 1972. Site fixity in the Caribbean green turtle. Ecology 53(3): 425429. Carrillo., E., Morera, R. & Wong, G. 1994. Depredación de tortuga lora (Lepidochelys olivacea) y de tortuga verde (Chelonia mydas) por el jaguar (Panthera onca). Vida Silvestre Neotropical 3(1): 48-49. Chinchilla, F.A. 1997. La dieta del jaguar (Panthera onca), el puma (Felis concolor) y el manigordo (Felis pardalis) en el Parque Nacional Corcovado, Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical 45: 1223-1229. Haro, A. & E. Harrison. 2006. Report on the 2006 leatherback program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Unpublished report to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation and the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica. Hirth, H. 1997. Synopsis of the biological data on the green turtle. USFWS Biological Report 97(1): 46-49. Karanth, K.U. & Nichols, J.D. 1998. Estimation of tiger densities in India using photographic captures and recaptures. Ecology 79(8): 2852-2862. Karanth, K.U. & Nichols, J.D. 2000. Camera trapping big cats: some questions that should be asked frequently. Unpublished document. Karanth, K.U., Nichols, J.D., Kumar, N.S., Link, W.A., Hines, J.E., & Orians, G.H. 2004. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101(14): 48544858. Koford, C.B. 1983. Felis onca. In: Janzen, D.H. (ed). Costa Rican Natural History. Pages 484-485. The University of Chicago Press. USA. Miller, B & Rabinowitz, A. 2002. ¿Por qué conservar el jaguar? In: Medellín, R.A., Equina, C. Chetkiewicz, C.L., Crawshaw Jr, P.G., Rabinowitz, A., Redford, K.H., Robinson, J.G., Sanderson, E.W. & Taber, A.B. El jaguar en el nuevo milenio, pages

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303-315. Ediciones Científicas Universitarias. Fondo de Cultura Económica/ Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/ Wildlife Conservation Society. México, D.F. México. Navarro-Serment, C.J., López-González, C.A., & Gallo-Reynoso, J.P. 2005. Occurrence of jaguar. The Southwest Naturalist 50(1): 102-106. Oritz, R.M., Plotkin, P.T. & Owents, D.W. 1997. Predation upon olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) by the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) at Playa Nancite, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2: 585-587. Sanderson, E.W., Redford, K.H., Chetkiewicz, C.B., Medellin, R.A., Rabinowitz, R.A., Robinson, J.G. & Taber, A.B. 2002. Planning to save a species: the jaguar as a model. Conservation Biology 16(1):1-15. Salom-Pérez, R. Carrillo, E., Sáenz, J.C. & Mora, J.M. 2007. Critical condition of the jaguar Panthera onca population in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Oryx 41(1): 51-56 Schaller, G.B. 1972. The Serengeti Lion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Seymour, K.L. 1989. Panthera onca. Mammalian Species 340: 1-9. Silver, S. 2004. Assesing jaguar abundance using remotely triggered cameras. Wildlife Conservation Society. New York, USA. Troëng, S. 1997. Report on the 1997 Green Turtle Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Unpublished report to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. Troëng, S. 2000. Predation of green (Chelonia mydas) and Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles by Jaguars (Panthera onca) at Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation Biology 3(4):751-753. Troëng, S., Chacón, D. & Dick, B. 2004. Possible decline in Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea nesting along the coast of Caribbean Central America. Oryx 38 (4): 395-403.

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Troëng, S., Zanre, R., Singer, C., Pinion, T., Castro, J., Harrison, E., Ayala, D., Hinestroza, L., Polo, A., Quijada, A., Castillo, A., Ho, P. & Rankin, T. 1999. Reporto n the 1998 Green Turtle Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Unpublished report to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation and the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica. van Oudenhoven, F. 2007. Of turtles and tactics: conservation and sustainable community development in San Francisco, Costa Rica. Major research paper submitted to the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. Ontario, Canada. Weber, W. & Rabinowitz, A. 1996. A global perspective on large carnivore conservation. Conservation Biology 10(4): 1046-1054.

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12 Appendices
Appendix A Aquatic Trails:
Wings Code CPA 01 CPA 02 CPA 03 CPA 04 CPA 05 AQT 01 AQT 02 CHA 01 CHA 02 CHA 03 CHA 04 CCH 01 CCH 02 CCH 03 Distance from start 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 0 1110 1413 2017 3127 4003 1413 2127 2470

Name Cano Palma 01 Cano Palma 02 Cano Palma 03 Cano Palma 04 Cano Palma End Aquatic Trail 01 Aquatic Trail 02 Cano Harold 01 Cano Harold 02 Cano Harold 03 Cano Harold End Cano Chiquero 01 Cano Chiquero 02 Cano Chiquero End

North GPS 10˚35'50.8 10˚36'18.5 10˚36'46.7 10˚37'14.3 10˚37'42.8 10˚32'15.4 10˚31'41.9 10˚31'38.5 10˚31'30.4 10˚30'52.0 10˚30'37.8 10˚31'40.5 10˚31'58.6 10˚32'14.2

West GPS 83˚31'48.1 83˚32'06.6 83˚32'22.8 83˚32'41.0 83˚32'56.4 83˚30'28.3 83˚30'39.9 83˚30'50.4 83˚31'02.5 83˚31'11.6 83˚31'44.3 83˚30'49.2 83˚31'02.5 83˚31'02.4

Distance 1000 1000 1000 1000 0 1110 303 604 1248 718 0 703 343 0

Notes: All the distances are measured in meters

64

Appendix B

Date 23/03/07 23/03/07 23/03/07 25/03/07 28/03/07 31/03/07 01/04/07 07/04/07 12/04/07 16/04/07 16/04/07 29/04/07 24/04/07 02/05/07 04/05/07 05/05/07 04/05/07 04/05/07 05/05/07 08/05/07

AM/PM

Station Code CPA south of EBCP CPA STN STN STN STN STN CPA south of EBCP Rio Penitentia just before TO NP CPA02 CPA02 SFR PCA06 STN 300m North of EBCP on Cano Palma 300m North of EBCP on Cano Palma TO NP TO NP CPA02 300m North of EBCP on Cano Palma

Species (common name)

Species (latin name) Agamia agami Ciccaba nigrolineata Mesembrinibis cayennensis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Heliothryx barroti Mesembrinibis cayennensis Heliothryx barroti Tigrisoma lineatum Notharchus macrorhynchos Dacnis cayana Dacnis cayana Spiza Americana Himantopus mexicanus Celeus loricatus Butorides virescens

Agami heron Black-and-white owl Green ibis Green ibis Purple-crowned fairy Green ibis Purple-crowned fairy Rufescent tiger-heron White-necked puffbird Blue dacnis Blue dacnis Dickcissel Black-necked stilt Cinnamon woodpecker Green heron Green heron Tricolored heron Swallow-tailed kite Crested guan Green heron

Abun dance (Statu s) R R R R R R R R U U U R R R C

S

H

S/H

Total #

Surname

First Name

M/F

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 4 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 4 1 1

Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Hamisi Hamisi Smith Jackson Lewis Hamisi Hamisi Lewis Lewis Hamisi Hamisi

James James James James James James James James James Aysha Aysha Brianne Julie James Aysha Aysha James James Aysha Aysha M F M

AM PM PM PM PM PM PM AM AM AM AM AM

Butorides virescens

C

Egretta tricolor Elanoides forficatus Penelope purpurascens Butorides virescens

U U U C

65

Date 11/05/07 13/05/07 13/05/07 14/05/07 14/05/07 14/05/07 20/05/07 21/05/07 24/05/07 10/06/07 11/06/07 13/06/07 13/06/07 15/06/07 16/06/07

AM/PM

Station Code STN CPA03 CPA03 CPA03 CPA03 CPA03 STN STN STN PCA05 PCA05 CPA04 CPA05

Species (common name)

Species (latin name) Thalurania colombica Agamia agami Mesembrinibis cayennensis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Egretta tricolor Mesembrinibis cayennensis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Thalurania colombica Sula leucogaster Sula leucogaster Elanoides forficatus Dacnis cayana

AM PM PM PM AM AM AM PM AM AM AM PM PM PM AM

STN
STN

Violet-crowned woodnymph Agami heron Green ibis Green ibis Tricolored heron Green ibis Green ibis Green ibis Violet-crowned woodnymph Brown booby Brown booby Swallow-tailed kite Blue dacnis Chestnut-colored woodpecker Green ibis

Abun dance (Statu s) U R R R U R R R U U U U U

S

H

S/H

Total #

Surname

First Name

M/F

1 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Celeus castaneus
Mesembrinibis cayennensis

U
R

Hamisi Lewis Smith Smith Hamisi Hamisi Jackson Lewis Hamisi Jackson Hamisi Hamisi Hamisi Hamisi Hamisi

Aysha James Brianne Brianne Aysha Aysha Julie James Aysha Julie Aysha Aysha Aysha Aysha Aysha

F

F

M

66

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