GVI Costa Rica Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Research Expedition

Phase Report 081 11th January – 21st March 2008

Phase Report 091 January 9th - March 19th 2009

Conservation for everyone, everyone for conservation

GVI Costa Rica Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Research 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, Energy of Costa Rica (MINAET) Produced by
David Jones Rebeca Chaverri Diogo Verissimo Sara Calçada Richard Bull Wing Tsui Cody Glasbrenner Field Coordinator Country Director Expedition Staff Expedition Staff Expedition Staff Expedition Staff Scholar And
Marjolein Groot Nibbelink Lisa Spencer Tom Parsons Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Robert Nichols Ariane Chif Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Peter Strand Jennifer Fucci Megan Lieb Adam Hejnowicz Stephanny Arroyo Arce Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer

Nicholas Louis Jonathan Murphy Nava Fedaeff Lara Dixon Desiree Fleck

Jennifer Archer

Volunteer

Volunteer

Volunteer National Scholarship Program Participant

Rachael Bohnen Karen Dykxhoorn Sarah Durose

Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer

Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer

GVI Costa Rica Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Research Expedition
Address: Estación Biológica Caño Palma, Tortuguero, Costa Rica Tel: (+506) 2709 8052 Email: costarica@gvi.co.uk Web page: http://www.gvi.co.uk http://gvicostarica.blogspot.com

Table of Contents 1 2 General introduction .................................................................................................. 6 Jaguar Predation of Marine Turtles Study................................................................. 7 2.1 Results .............................................................................................................. 7 2.2 Related links ...................................................................................................... 8 3 Jaguar Camera Trapping Study ................................................................................ 8 3.1 Results .............................................................................................................. 9 3.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 11 4 Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Programme ........................................ 11 4.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 12 4.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 12 5 Canal Bird Monitoring Programme .......................................................................... 12 5.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 13 5.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 16 6 Incidental Species Study ......................................................................................... 16 6.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 16 7 Meteorology and Environmental Study ................................................................... 18 7.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 18 8 Tourist Impact Study ............................................................................................... 19 8.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 20 9 English Language and Environmental Education Classes...................................... 22 9.1 Summary ......................................................................................................... 23 9.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 24 10 Activities and Final Summary .................................................................................. 24 List of Tables Table 2-1 Breakdown of main results for phase and season .......................................7 Table 3-1 General data ................................................................................................9 Table 3-2 Trapping site information .............................................................................9 Table 3-3 Presence / absence (1/0) of known species this phase.............................10 Table 5-1 General phase totals for all canals.............................................................13 Table 5-2 Unusual recordings for phase per canal ....................................................14 Table 5-3 Presence/absence of species for phase ....................................................14 Table 5-4 Presence/absence of species per canal for phase ....................................15 Table 6-1 Overview of incidental totals this phase.....................................................16 Table 6-2 Most commonly recorded species by class for phase ...............................17 Table 7-1 Weekly environmental averages for phase................................................18

Table 7-2 Monthly environmental averages for year..................................................19 Table 8-1 Boat use restriction on Caño Palma, Tortuguero, Costa Rica. ..................19 Table 8-2 General Canal boat impact data for phase ................................................20 Table 8-3 Total canal usage for phase by ACTo time restriction ...............................20 Table 8-4 Activity by usage type ................................................................................20 List of Figures Figure 3-1 Common opossum....................................................................................10 Figure 6-1 Some incidental records for the phase: Tree Frog, Mantled Howler Monkey, Boa Constrictor............................................................................................18 Figure 8-1 Percentage canal usage tourist vs. non-tourist.........................................21 Figure 8-2 Breakdown of canal usage by Lodge........................................................21 Figure 8-3 Total number of boats by time for phase ..................................................22

1 General introduction
In July 2005, GVI established the Costa Rica expedition based at Estación BIológica Caño Palma (EBCP), Tortuguero. The biological station is located in the southern section of the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge (BCWR) directly to the north of Tortuguero National Park (TNP). The area of operation for the expedition covers both TNP and the BCWR; both of which are included in the Tortuguero Conservation Area (ACTo). The area consists of a collection of waterways running through Caribbean lowland rainforest. The coastal habitats are generally similar in type throughout the area of operation with small variation in boarding habitats, width of the beach and quantity and type of debris found on the beach. The forest habitats vary more considerably with several distinct habitats being present. Altitudinal differences of a couple metres have a large effect on both habitat and species composition in the area. Lower areas, such as those found around the station, tend have large areas of flooded forest whereas the drier areas associated to the National Park tend to only be submerged during times of flooding. The EBCP was purchased in 1991, by the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC). Prior to GVI’s arrival a number of studies had been undertaken, looking at various species and habitats but no longer term monitoring projects had been possible. GVI Costa Rica’s volunteer resource made long-term studies possible and needs were assessed and partnerships sourced. Currently, GVI Costa Rica is working closely with the Costa Rican Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), COTERC and the local community of San Francisco, as well as being a member of Alianza para Baulas del Caribe (ABC) and Red de las Tortugas marinas. This report is a quarterly review of the data collected in the first volunteer cycle of 2009 (Phase 091: January 9th - March 19th 2009). In addition to those listed, GVI Costa Rica is also supplying resources and personnel to assist COTERC in a Large Mammal Monitoring Programme inside the BCWR. Further details of GVI Costa Rica research programmes and all protocols can be found at

http://gvicostarica.blogspot.com.

2 Jaguar Predation of Marine Turtles Study
GVI Costa Rica has been conducting this research by request of MINAET since July 2005. The aim of this project is to determine whether predation of marine turtles by jaguars (Panthera onca) in TNP is having an impact on the marine turtle populations. Data collection for this project involves documenting evidence of jaguar predation of marine sea turtles. On a weekly basis, a survey team walk 14.5 miles on the beach of TNP. Information is collected, such as, the number and location of predated turtles and the presence / absence of turtle and jaguar tracks per half mile on the beach. Other general information is also recorded, including weather and sand conditions on the beach. 2.1 Results

Seven surveys were conducted this phase, covering 87 miles; making 464 miles for the season (July 2008 – June 2009).
The phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from January 25th 2009- March 15th 2009. Table 2-1 Breakdown of main results for phase and season

Jag sightings Number of full turtles tracks this phase: Number of full turtles tracks this season:

0 1 Cm, 10 Dc 16,311 Cm, 10 Dc 0 0 162

Number of newly recorded dead turtles this phase Number of dead turtles this year Number of dead turtles this season (Jul – Jun):

Area of highest turtle activity this phase Area of highest jag activity this phase Area of highest turtle predation this phase

15.5 – 18 8 – 12; 15 – 17,5 NA

2.2

Related links

Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biología y la Conservación: GVI Costa Rica attended this year's conference in El Salvador, where we presented results from the Jaguar Predation of Marine Turtles Study. GVI Costa Rica wins prize at Central American Conservation Congress: More information on the outcomes of the El Salvador conference. 29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology &

Conservation: Poster presented to the conference in February 2009, exploring the drivers behind the jaguar predation of marine turtles phenomenon. seaturtle.org - Image Library: GVI Costa Rica images of jaguar predated turtles - free access for educational purposes. http://jaguarnetwork.org/ : GVI Costa Rica was accepted to join the network early 2009 Wednesday, January 28, 2009: notes from the field GVI Costa Rica at the International Sea Turtle Symposium: update from the happenings at the Symposium

3 Jaguar Camera Trapping Study
To complement the Predation study, GVI Costa Rica began using camera traps at the end of 2006. The aim is identify and estimate the abundance of jaguars along the beach of TNP. Surveys are conducted between one and three times a week by a small research team. Camera traps are set up in the forest that borders the beach, in locations where there is evidence of jaguar presence. The infrared and heat sensitive cameras are checked by a field team on a regular basis to ensure the cameras are working correctly and to retrieve any photographs that have been taken. These photographs are analysed by the team back at the research station.

3.1

Results

The data represented in the tables below covers the period from January 21st 2009- March 15th 2009 Table 3-1 General data

Number of cameras deployed in field

4

5 Number of trapping sites

Table 3-2 Trapping site information

Cam site one Position (MM) Date set Bait 6 21-Jan-09 Chicken Stock

Cam site two Position (MM) Date set Bait 16 26-Jan-09 Chicken Stock

Dates checked Number of trapping nights

27-Jan-09, 04-Feb-09 14

Dates checked Number of trapping nights

01-Feb-09, 15-Feb-09 21 1x Central American Woolly Opossum, 1x Common Opossum, 1x Nine-banded Armadillo, 1x Red Brocket Deer

New Results

None

New Results

Cam site three Position (MM) Date set Bait Dates checked Number of trapping nights New Results 15 15-Feb-09 Chicken stock 22-Feb-09, 01-Mar-09 14 5xRed Brocket Deer,1x Tayra,1x Common Opossum

Cam site four Position (MM) Date set Bait Dates checked Number of trapping nights New Results 5 18-Feb-2009; 3-Mar-09 Chicken stock 25-Feb-2009, 11-Mar2009 7 and 8 1x Central American Spider Monkey

Cam site five Position (MM) Date set Bait Dates checked Number of trapping nights New Results

13 01-Mar-09 Chicken stock 15-Mar-09 14 None

Table 3-3 Presence / absence (1/0) of known species this phase

Species Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) Central American woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus) Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) Common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) Gray four-eyed opossum (Philander opossum) Great curassow (Crax rubra) Jaguar (Panthera onca) Mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) Margay (Leopardus wiedii) Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) Northern racoon (Procyon lotor) Paca (Agouti paca) Red brocket deer (Mazama americana) Tayra (Eira barbara) White-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) White-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) White-nosed coati (Nasua narica) White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Site One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Site Two 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

Site Three 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

Site Four 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Site Five 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Figure 3-1 Common opossum

3.2

Related links

Guess the species: notes from the field. The epic adventure of camera trapping jaguars by Karen Dykxhoorn: notes from the field http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=39758387678#/group.php?gid=397583876 78: View many of our camera trap images and much more. 29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology &

Conservation: Poster presented to the conference in February 2009, exploring the drivers behind the jaguar predation of marine turtles phenomenon. http://jaguarnetwork.org/ : GVI Costa Rica was accepted to join the network early 2009 GVI Costa Rica at the International Sea Turtle Symposium: update from the happenings at the Symposium

4 Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Programme
This programme has been managed by GVI Costa Rica since 2007 and is carried out in partnership with COTERC. The aim is to develop a more detailed understanding of and promote the conservation of the nesting marine turtles that utilise our local beach, Playa Norte. Playa Norte (north of the beach at Tortuguero) receives up to four species of endangered and critically endangered marine turtles: green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the occasional loggerhead (Caretta caretta). The beach is monitored by teams to record the spatial and seasonal distribution of nests, the level of illegal poaching, hatchling emergence and hatchling success rates. Information on the re-emergence of turtles to the nesting beach and / or migration between beaches is also collected and recorded. Human Impact data are recorded to determine if this has any impact on the nesting patterns of the turtles. There are a number of different elements within this project, depending on the stage of the season. During the nesting season, the beach is monitored each night in order

to record details of the nesting turtles and nests (including the location of the nest and number of eggs) and to ‘tag’ the female nesting turtles. A morning census is conducted each day to determine the status of the recent nests and record any new tracks of nesting turtles. The beach is cleaned at the relevant locations and times to promote increased hatching success. Hatchling tracks are monitored and recorded and nest excavations are carried out (once the nest has hatched or is past the date it was due to hatch) to determine the success rate of the nest and record any relevant evidence on why eggs have not hatched. 4.1 Results

During phase 091, 31 morning surveys and 14 night surveys were completed. Over 122 miles were walked on morning surveys and night surveys together this season for a total of 68 hours of survey. This phase we have recorded the presence of Leatherback turtles nesting on Playa Norte. The full 2009 season reports for leatherbacks, greens and hawksbills will be available in 2010. 4.2 Red Related links para la conservación de la tortugas marinas de Costa Rica

www.redtortugasmarinascr.org Alianza para las baulas del Caribe (ABC) / Caribbean Leatherback Alliance www.latinamericanseaturtles.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78& Itemid=143 Late leatherbacks by Lisa Spencer: notes from the field Slick recovery: notes from the field

5 Canal Bird Monitoring Programme
The partnership with Steven Furino of Waterloo University, Canada has been established since GVI Costa Rica’s arrival in 2005, the current protocols have been in place since January 2007. The aim is to provide evidence to help develop an

understanding of how resident and migratory bird species use lowland wet forests and, in particular, the canals that are associated with these forests. We are responsible for collecting population data on resident and migratory birds on canals in the TNP and the BCWR. In order to do this we monitor and record the bird species found on three different canal at weekly intervals. Thirty target species of birds have been identified and standard research methods are employed, such as standard point counts and area search survey techniques, to ensure the data can be used alongside that collected in other locations by other research teams. Surveys are usually carried out first thing in the morning and involve a team of five or six canoeing through the relevant area, recording any sightings and sounds of the target species. 5.1 Results
th th

The data represented in the tables below covers the period from January 17 2009- March 18 2009 Table 5-1 General phase totals for all canals
Canal Caño Palma Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Number of species recorded Caño Palma AQTs Caño Chiquero Caño Harold All canal Number of individuals recorded Caño Palma AQTs Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Total Most commonly recorded species this phase Caño Palma AQTs Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Overall Yellow-crowned night-heron Little blue heron Little blue heron Little blue heron Little blue heron Number of surveys 7 7 7 Phase Total 12 18 9 13 20 Phase Total 134 488 68 180 870

Canal Caño Palma Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Total number of hours on survey

Number of hours on survey 16hr 37min 17hr 51min 19hr 11min 53hr 39min

Table 5-2 Unusual recordings for phase per canal
Canal Caño Palma AQTs Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Unusual sightings recorded Great egret Great blue heron, Green-and-rufus kingfisher, Purple gallinule, Tricoloured heron, Yellow-crowned night-heron Gray-necked wood rail Gray-necked wood-rail, Yellow-crowned night-heron

Table 5-3 Presence/absence of species for phase

Key Uncommonly recorded Uncommonly recorded on indicated canal

Study Species Agami heron (Agamia agami) Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona) American pygmy kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea) Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) Bare-throated tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum) Belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) Boat-billed heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) Great egret (Casmerodius albus) Green heron (Butorides s. virescens) Green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) Green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana) Green-and-Rufus kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda) Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) Little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) Neotropical cormorant (Phalacrocorax olivaceus) Northern jacana (Jacana spinosa) Purple gallinule (Porphyrula martinica) Reddish egret (Egretta rufescens) Ringed kingfisher (Ceryle torquata)

1/0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1

Rufescent tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum) Snowy egret (Egretta thula) Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica) Tricoloured heron (Egretta tricolour) White-throated crake (Laterallus albigularis) Yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea) Total Species

0 1 0 1 1 0 1 20

Table 5-4 Presence/absence of species per canal for phase

Palma Agami heron Amazon kingfisher American pygmy kingfisher Anhinga Bare-throated tiger-heron Belted kingfisher Boat-billed heron Cattle egret Gray-necked wood-rail Great blue heron Great egret Green heron Green ibis Green kingfisher Green-and-rufus kingfisher Least bittern Limpkin Little blue heron Neotropical cormorant Northern jacana Purple gallinule Reddish egret Ringed kingfisher Rufescent tigerheron Snowy egret Sunbittern Sungrebe Tricoloured heron White-throated crake Yellow-crowned night heron Total Species

1/0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 12

Chiquero Agami heron Amazon kingfisher American pygmy kingfisher Anhinga Bare-throated tigerheron Belted kingfisher Boat-billed heron Cattle egret Gray-necked wood-rail Great blue heron Great egret Green heron Green ibis Green kingfisher Green-and-rufus kingfisher Least bittern Limpkin Little blue heron Neotropical cormorant Northern jacana Purple gallinule Reddish egret Ringed kingfisher Rufescent tigerheron Snowy egret Sunbittern Sungrebe Tricoloured heron White-throated crake Yellow-crowned night heron Total Species

1/0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 9

Harold Agami heron Amazon kingfisher American pygmy kingfisher Anhinga Bare-throated tiger-heron Belted kingfisher Boat-billed heron Cattle egret Gray-necked wood-rail Great blue heron Great egret Green heron Green ibis Green kingfisher Green-and-rufus kingfisher Least bittern Limpkin Little blue heron Neotropical cormorant Northern jacana Purple gallinule Reddish egret Ringed kingfisher Rufescent tigerheron Snowy egret Sunbittern Sungrebe Tricoloured heron White-throated crake Yellow-crowned night heron Total Species

1/0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 13

AQTs Agami heron Amazon kingfisher American pygmy kingfisher Anhinga Bare-throated tiger-heron Belted kingfisher Boat-billed heron Cattle egret Gray-necked wood-rail Great blue heron Great egret Green heron Green ibis Green kingfisher Green-and-rufus kingfisher Least bittern Limpkin Little blue heron Neotropical cormorant Northern jacana Purple gallinule Reddish egret Ringed kingfisher Rufescent tigerheron Snowy egret Sunbittern Sungrebe Tricoloured heron White-throated crake Yellow-crowned night heron Total Species

1/0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 18

5.2

Related links

Rufescent’s Return: Notes from the field - seasonal update Bird survey in Caño Harold, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica: notes from the field

6 Incidental Species Study
GVI Costa Rica has been recording incidental sightings of animals at EBCP since January 2007. The aim of the study is to maintain a formal, accurate record of the daily occurrences of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians sighted within the property boundaries of the station. By keeping a daily record of the occurrence of species, we can determine which species are seen most frequently and determine if there any changes in the frequency of sightings of certain species over time. 6.1 Results

The data represented in the tables below covers the period from January 9th 2009- March 18th 2009 Table 6-1 Overview of incidental totals this phase
Number of species recorded this phase 159

Total number of records this phase

2026

Table 6-4 Special Interest sightings for phase

Species American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea) Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana) Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) Central Amercian Coral Snake (Micrurus alleni) Eyelash Viper (Botriechis schlegelli) Great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Kinkajou (Potos flavus) Northern Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) Red Coffee Snake (Ninia sebae) Scarlet-Webbed Tree Frog (Hyla rutifela)

Number of records 2 1 2 2 2 1 3 1 1 2

Table 6-2 Most commonly recorded species by class for phase

Birds Days recorded (%) 91

Mammals Days recorded (%) 93

Amphibians Days recorded (%) 90

Reptiles Days recorded (%) 84

Species Great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Species Mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata)

Species Strawberry Poison Frog (Dendrobates pumilio)

Species Green iguana (Iguana iguana) Yellowheaded gecko (Gonatodes albogularis) Green basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)

Montezuma oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma) Whitecollared manakin (Manacus candei)

91

Brazilian longnosed bat (Rhynchonycteris naso) Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)

59

Common Tink Frog (Herotilapia multispinisa)

63

71

83

43

Marine Toad (Bufo marinus) Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylu s pentadactylu s) Green Climbing Toad (Bufo coniferus)

47

60

Western SlatyAntshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha) Green Ibis (Mesembrinibi s cayennensis)

79

Mexican Mouse Opossum (Marmosa mexicana) White-faced Capuchin (Cebus capucinus)

41

43

Central American Whiptail (Ameiva festiva) Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus)

49

76

19

10

36

Figure 6-3 Most commonly recorded species for phase (recorded ≥75% of days)

# Days Recorded 52 Mantled Howler Monkey Great Kiskadee Montezuma Oropendola Strawberry Poison Dart Frog Green Iguana White‐collared Manakin Western Slaty‐Antshrike Green Ibis 53 55 58 59 63 64 64 54 56 58 60 62 64 65 66 68 70

Figure 6-1 Some incidental records for the phase: Tree Frog, Mantled Howler Monkey, Boa Constrictor

7 Meteorology and Environmental Study
COTERC have been recording weather information at the Biological Station to varying degrees since 1991. Since January 2007, GVI Costa Rica has been assisting COTERC in the collection and compilation of a set data into the climatological and environmental conditions experienced at EBCP each day. 7.1 Results

The data represented in the tables below covers the period from January 9th 2009- March 18th 2009 Table 7-1 Weekly environmental averages for phase

Week one two three four five six seven eight nine ten

Rainfall (mm) 63.8 170.5 223.6 260.8 361.5 41.6 96.2 247.9 126.7 2

Max Temp (6PM) 32 27 30 31 30 32 28 30 30 32

Min Temp (6AM) 18 16 18 18 17 17 17 14 13 17

Average Humidity (%) 87.6 90.8 85.1 88.4 90.6 87.6 88 89 88.6 85.8

Average Canal Depth (cm) 90.4 89.6 121.3 107.5 171.7 95.9 95.4 104.5 151.9 90.8

Table 7-2 Monthly environmental averages for year

Month Jan Feb March Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

Rainfall (mm) 160.2 198.4

Max Temp (6PM) 32 32

Min Temp (6AM) 16 17

Average Humidity (%) 88.1 88.5

Average Canal Depth (cm) 101.8 116.3

8 Tourist Impact Study
GVI Costa Rica has been assisting MINAET by documenting and monitoring the impact of tourism on our local canal since January 2006. On a weekly basis the canal traffic along Caño Palma is monitored between 06:00 and 18:00. As possible, all days of the week are surveyed throughout the phase. Two personnel conduct surveys, each taking a six-hour shift, between either 06:00 and 12:00 or 12:00 and 18:00. The number and type of boats are recorded, alongside any other evidence, such as the number of tourists and the type of engine in line with information recorded for visitors to TNP canals. The restrictions of use for Caño Palma are outlined below:
Table 8-1 Boat use restriction on Caño Palma, Tortuguero, Costa Rica.

ACTo Time restriction 06:00 – 08:00 08:00 – 10:00 10:00 – 12:00 12:00 – 14:00 14:00 – 16:00 16:00 - 18:00

Number of boats allowed 10 10 10 10 10 10

8.1

Results

The data represented in the tables below covers the period from January 18th 2009- March 14th 2009 Table 8-2 General Canal boat impact data for phase

Number of surveys this phase

8

Average number of boats per day for the phase

47 9 4 357 Blue Sky III Luisa & Iriria Vista al Mar

Average number of passengers per tourist boat for phase

Average number of passengers per private boat for phase Average number of people per day Most commonly recorded tourist boat for phase Most commonly recorded private boat for phase

Most commonly recorded lodge for phase

Table 8-3 Total canal usage for phase by ACTo time restriction
Total Number of boats 06:00 – 08:00 Total Number of boats 08:00 – 10:00 Total Number of boats 10:00-12:00 Total Number of boats 12:00-14:00 Total Number of boats 14:00-16:00 Total Number of boats 16:00-18:00 Total number of boats

61 81 55 55 70 56 378

Table 8-4 Activity by usage type

Total number of tourist boats

265 113 2385

Total number of non-tourist boats

Total number of passengers in tourist boats

Total number of passengers in non-tourist boats

467 84

Percentage of boats using 4s engines

Figure 8-1 Percentage canal usage tourist vs. non-tourist

Total of Tourist v Non Tourist Boats for Phase 15

30%
N Y

70%

Figure 8-2 Breakdown of canal usage by Lodge

Lodge Usage for Phase 15
Vista Al Mar Turtle Beach Lodge Taxi Samoa Lodge Private Lodge Name Paraiso Tropical Pachira Lodge Mawamba Lodge Manatus Laguna Lodge Jungle Tours Safari Evergreen Clic Clic Caño Palma 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120

Total Number of Records

Figure 8-3 Total number of boats by time for phase

Usage Times for Phase 15
80 70 Number of Boats 60 50 40 30 20 10 05:30‐07:59 08:00‐09:59 10:00‐11:59 12:00‐13:59 14:00‐15:59 16:00‐18:00 0 Total

Time Categories

9 English Language and Environmental Education Classes
Local capacity building: GVI Costa Rica are involved with the local school in San Francisco village, teaching basic English to children and adults within the local community of San Francisco. An exchange also takes place with colleagues from a local tourist lodge (seasonal), providing an opportunity for all to practice their language skills in an informal setting and learn more about the different cultures of Costa Rica. Environmental education: GVI Costa Rica, in partnership with COTERC, are teaching environmental education to school children on a weekly basis. These classes cover various topics and aim to build an awareness of the environment in which the children live. We also organise regular community events for the residents of San Francisco. These events cover an environmental theme, for example composting, but are also designed to be fun and to continue to promote a good relationship between local residents and GVI Costa Rica.

9.1

Summary

The middle of the phase saw the departure of the Community Interns, Viv and Dani. They have worked closely with the local community, San Francisco, and the

volunteers since September 2008 and will be missed by all. We wish them all the best in the future, as they return to their native Brazil to share all the wonders of conservation with the children at home! Within a month of Vivian and Dani´s depature, Cassidy arrived in San Francisco. English teaching started up once again, for both children and adults. Kids classes were held every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Cassidy came to the station on Saturdays to plan with two volunteers, who joined her in school on Mondays. Adult classes were held every Thursday and Friday evenings, and brought out a number of students – most of whom had not attended classes with previous interns. Cassidy was pleased she was able to spark new interest and recruit more beginning English students. The garden project continued with the kids every Friday afternoon and occasionally during recess on other days of the week. Volunteers came over several times to help with the work at the school by moving compost from the station to the garden, picking up rubbish, and helping clean and prepare for the yearly school fundraiser. The community event at the end of phase focused on the theme of

mammals. It was well-attended, with about 30 kids staying after school to watch a short play, followed by art projects and games. The community has welcomed Cassidy into the fold and was invited to participate on the women´s soccer team, and also attend community meetings.

9.2

Related links

Jardin del Paraíso: Notes from the field – unveiling the new Community Garden Plays, paintings, games and gardens: Notes from the field – Community Event

10 Activities and Final Summary

January saw the volunteers working hard in clearing Playa Norte Beach of felled trees and logs that had been washed ashore over the prevailing months. The team was on the beach three times per week clearing the debris in preparation for the start of the nesting season. Further work was done in replacing and marking out the mile markers from mile 0 to 31/8 from suitable logs that were lying on the beach. In February, Diogo Veríssimo

represented GVI Costa Rica at the 29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology & Conservation held in Brisbane, Australia. A poster on the ongoing study of jaguar predation on marine turtles at Tortuguero was presented, which generated much interest amongst many of the visitors, allowing an extensive network of marine turtle researchers from seven Latin-American countries to be contacted on the potential occurrence of jaguar predation of marine turtles in their countries. Details can be found at the 29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology & Conservation.

During a morning census, in March, the team found a yearling green turtle (Chelonia mydas) covered in a thick layer of oil. The teams’ fast response allowed the GVI and COTERC teams to clean and rehabilitate the turtle back on the station. After three days of cleaning and strength building, we released the Green Turtle back with the

assistance of personnel from Vista Al Mar Lodge. Visit Slick recovery for details of the ‘Slick Recovery’ story. Prior to the departure of the volunteers for a long weekend, the GVI team was welcomed by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) after being flooded out of Station. The CCC has been collecting data on marine turtles on Tortuguero beach since 1958, and has given support and assistance, not only for board and lodging, but also in supplying requested data for use in our analysis for the jaguar predation work presented at the 29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology & Conservation Throughout the phase, we continued to support the Weaving for Nature project from Widecast, raising over $300. The project utilises waste plastic bags to make beautiful, long-lasting designs of bags, purses and more. Find out more here: http://latinamericanseaturtles.org/blog/?p=14 www.gvicostarica.blogspot.com/2008/09/weaving-for-nature.html And finally, don’t forget to check out www.careersabroad.co.uk where you will find out about job opportunities with us (and partners) first, because none of this is possible without our dedicated staff and volunteers. Thank you all,

global vision international Costa Rica.

conservation for everyone, everyone for conservation

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