GVI Costa Rica Coastal Rainforest and Wildlife Research Expedition

Phase Report 094 October 2nd - December 11th 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 and Telecommunications of Costa Rica (MINAET) Produced by
David Aneurin Jones Sara Calcada Richard Phillips Stephanny Arroyo Arce Sarah Durose Jo Swanell Owen And
Tucker Smith Brandon Alford Laura Oliver David Thomas Jennifer Morris Anja Dullaghan Thomas Proctor Tracy Farrell Allie Coad Marcia Chambers Susanne Brunner Linn Holm Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Russell Pepper Leonie Wilson Molly Clifford Sam Hopes Helen Wain Intern Intern Intern Intern Intern

Country Director Field Coordinator Expedition Staff Expedition Staff Scholar Scholar

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@gviworld.com 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 .................................................................................................... 10 4 Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Programme ........................................ 11 4.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 11 4.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 13 5 Canal Bird Monitoring Programme .......................................................................... 13 5.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 14 5.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 17 6 Incidental Species Study ......................................................................................... 17 6.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 17 6.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 19 7 Great Green Macaw Research and Conservation Project ...................................... 19 7.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 20 8 Meteorology and Environmental Study ................................................................... 22 8.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 22 9 Tourist Impact Study ............................................................................................... 23 9.1 Results ............................................................................................................ 23 9.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 25 10 English Language and Environmental Education Classes...................................... 25 10.1 Summary ......................................................................................................... 26 10.2 Related links .................................................................................................... 27 11 Activities and Final Summary .................................................................................. 27 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 4-1 Summary of Phase 094 results for Playa Norte and Nesting Season so far .. 12 Table 5-1 General phase totals for all canals.................................................................. 14 Table 5-2 Unusual recordings for phase per canal ......................................................... 14

Table 5-3 Presence/absence of species for phase ......................................................... 15 Table 5-4 Presence/absence of species per canal for phase ......................................... 16 Table 6-1 Overview of incidental totals this phase.......................................................... 17 Table 6-2Special Interest sightings for phase ................................................................. 17 Table 6-3 Most commonly recorded species by class for phase .................................... 18 Table 7-1 Classifications for Ara ambigua records ......................................................... 20 Table 7-2 Ara ambigua records for Phase 093 & 094..................................................... 21 Table 8-1 Weekly environmental averages for phase..................................................... 22 Table 8-2 Monthly environmental averages for year....................................................... 22 Table 9-1 Boat use restriction on Caño Palma, Tortuguero, Costa Rica. ....................... 23 Table 9-2 General Canal boat impact data for phase ..................................................... 23 Table 9-4 Activity by usage type ..................................................................................... 24 List of Figures Figure 9-1 Canal usage by tourist boat vs. non-tourist boat ........................................... 24 Figure 9-2 Breakdown of canal usage by Lodge............................................................. 24 Figure 9-3 Total number of boat by time for phase ......................................................... 25

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 to 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 and Energy (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 forth volunteer cycle of 2009 (Phase 094: October 2nd – 11th December 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

9 surveys were conducted this phase, covering 120.5 miles; making 246.5 miles for the season (July 2009 – June 2010).
The phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from October 2nd to December 11th 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: Number of newly recorded dead turtles this phase 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

0 2770 17555 81 162 Mile 10 Mile 16-16.5 Mile 14.5

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 GVI Costa Rica Makes Jaguar Newsletter: A new publication for GVI Costa Rica Jaguar sighting: notes from the field Jaguar Paradise? Presentation to the Defenders of Wildlife Carnivores Conference 2009

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 phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from October 2nd to December 11th 2009. Table 3-1 General data

Number of cameras deployed in field Number of trapping sites

2 2

Table 3-2 Trapping site information

GPS Cam site one Position (NNMM) Date set Bait Dates checked Number of trapping nights Site results for phase GPS Cam site two Position (MM) Date set Bait Dates checked Number of trapping nights Site results for phase

N: 103020.3, W:832904.5 5.5 10/10/2009 Hawkersbaker Wild Cat Lure #2 10/17/2009 6 none N: 102257.4, W: 832439.6 15.5 25/10/2009 Hawkersbaker Wild Cat Lure #2 1/11/2009 7 None

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

Species 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-throated 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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Site Two 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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=39758387678: 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 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 094, 68 morning surveys and 47 night surveys were completed. A total of 4005.37 miles were walked on morning surveys and night surveys together this season for a total of 2027 hours of survey. This phase we have recorded the presence of green and hawksbill turtles nesting on Playa Norte. For the season, we have also recorded leatherback turtles.

Table 4-1 Summary of Phase 094 results for Playa Norte and Nesting Season so far 54% Natural; 19% Unknown; 27% Poached; 0% Eroded 68% Natural; 14% Unknown; 17% Poached; 1% Eroded

Status of nests this phase determined by MC

Status of nests this season determined by MC

Number of nests recorded this phase Number of nests recorded this season Area of highest nesting this phase Area of highest nesting this season

DC: 0; Cm: 26; Ei: 0; Cc: 0 Dc: 70; Cm 169; Ei: 19; Cc: 0 Mile 0.37 & 1.12 & 2.62 Mile 0.37

Number of relocations this phase Number of relocations this season Hour with the most encountered turtles this phase Hour with the most encountered turtles this season Number of REC this phase Number of REM this phase Number renesting turtles this phase Area of highest HLF this phase Number of hatched nests this season Number of hatchlings this phase Number of hatchlings this season

Dc 0; Ei 0 Dc 31; Ei 1 23:00 – 23:59 23:00 – 23:59 Dc 0; Cm 3; Ei 0; Cc 0 Dc 0; Cm 10; Ei 0; Cc 0 Dc 0; Cm 0; Ei 0; Cc 0 Mile 0.62; Mile 1 & 3 Dc 25; Cm 19; Ei 4; Cc 0 Dc 0; Cm 1399; Ei 0; Cc 0 Dc 1100; Cm 1534; Ei 608; Cc 0

Status of excavated nests this phase

46% Natural; 22% Partially Poached; 19% Poached; 5% Predated; 8% Eroded

Status of excavated nests this season

67% Natural; 13% Partially Poached; 13% Poached; 2% Predated; 5% Eroded

Percentage success rate for normal nests this season

Dc: 36%; Cm: 81%; Ei: 93%

Percentage success rate for relocated nests this season Number of LIF records this season Number of DEC records this season

Dc 48%; Ei: 0%

6 4

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&Ite mid=143 Late leatherbacks by Lisa Spencer: notes from the field Slick recovery: notes from the field Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation: Presentation to Mesoamerican Congress 2009

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

The phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from October 2nd to December 11th 2009. Table 5-1 General phase totals for all canals

Canal AQT only Surveys Caño Palma Caño Chiquero Caño Harold Number of species recorded Caño Palma Caño Chiquero Caño Harold AQTs Total Number of individuals recorded Caño Palma Caño Chiquero Caño Harold AQTs Total
Table 5-2 Unusual recordings for phase per canal

 

Number of surveys 2 8 8 8 Phase Total 16 12 17 17 23 Phase Total 150 78 134 544 906

Canal Caño Palma Caño Chiquero Caño Harold AQTs

Species Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Cattle Egret, Gray-necked Wood-rail Gray-necked Wood-rail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Snowy Egret Great Blue Heron, Limpkin Great Blue 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) Gray-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides cajanea) Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) Great egret (Casmerodius albus) Green heron (Butorides s. virescens) Green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) Green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana) Green-and-Rufous 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) 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 1/0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 23

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-rufous 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 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 16 Chiquero 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-rufous 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 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 12 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-rufous 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 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 16 AQT's 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-rufous 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 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 17

5.2

Related links

Rufescent’s Return: Notes from the field - seasonal update Aquatic Avifauna of Tortuguero National Park: 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 phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from October 2nd 2009 – December 11th 2009. Table 6-1 Overview of incidental totals this phase

Number of species recorded this phase Total number of records this phase

119 1706

Table 6-2Special Interest sightings for phase

Species Great Green Macaw (Ana ambiguous) Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) Honduran White Bat (Ectophylla Alba) Tayra (Eira Barbara) Black and White Owl (Ciccaba nigrolineata) Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)

Number of records 1 1 5 2 3 1 1

Table 6-3 Most commonly recorded species by class for phase

Birds Species Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) Whitecollared Manakin (Manacus candei) Violetcrowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colomica) Chestnutmandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) Clay-colored Robin (Turdus grayi) Days recorded (%)

Mammals Species Days recorded (%)

Amphibians Species Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio) Days recorded (%)

Reptiles Species Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) Green basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) Central American Whiptail (Ameiva festiva) Yellowheaded Gecko (Gonatodes albogularis) Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) Days recorded (%)

89%

Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) Brazilian Longnosed Bat (Rhynchonycteris naso) Mexican Mouse Opossum (Marmosa mexicana) Central American Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) White-throated Capuchin (Cebus capucinus)

96%

89%

83%

85%

90%

Marine Toad (Bufo marinus)

51%

80%

71%

66%

Common Tink Frog (Herotilapia multispinisa) Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) Fitzinger's Rain Frog (Eleutherodactylus fitzingeri)

24%

77%

68%

42%

21%

65%

65%

24%

17%

38%

Figure 6-4 Most commonly recorded species for phase (recorded ≥75% of days)

Table 6-5 Target species records for phase 094
Target species recorded this Phase Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio) Marine Toad (Bufo marinus) Black River Turtle (Rhinoclemmys funereal) Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis) Central American Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) Neotropical River Otter (Lutra longicaudis) Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Number of records 59 63 36 11 13 30 6 0

  

  

Figure 6-6 Some incidental records for the phase: Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor), White Bat (Ectophylla alba), Hoffmann’s Two Toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)

6.2

Related links

Priceless Monitoring without Cost: Poster to the Mesoamerican Congress 2009

7 Great Green Macaw Research and Conservation Project
The great green macaw is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List and protected under Appendix I of CITES. The estimated population for Costa Rica is approximately 35 reproductive pairs, leading to the idea that this population depends on the larger macaw population in the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve in Nicaragua. The growing concerns about the status of the Great Green Macaw have lead to the creation of the Great Green Macaw Research and Conservation Project - started by

conservation biologist Dr. George V. N. Powel. This project has been working in Costa Rica since 1994 to raise awareness and carry out research into this specie. It is currently being run by Centro Científico Tropical in association with several organisations, including GVI Costa Rica, the National University of Costa Rica (UNA) and the Scientific Committee of the Costa Rican Ornithological Association (AOCR). Between Jan 2007 and July 2008, GVI Costa Rica recorded 14 records of great green macaws (Ara ambigua) at the station property as part of the Incidental Special Study. During the Mesoamerican Conference for Biology and Conservation in El Salvador in November 2008 we were invited to assist in the collection of data for Centro Científico Tropical’s Great Green Macaw Research and Conservation Project for the San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor, first beginning collecting data for the Tortuguero area under their requirements at the end of November 2008. Since this protocol was introduced in November 2008 there have been 40 sightings of Great Green Macaws by GVI Expedition Members. Of these 40 records, 22 were during Phase 094. 7.1 Results

The phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from June 26th 2009 – December 11th 2009. Table 7-1 Classifications for Ara ambigua records

Activity (A) 1. Feeding 2. Resting 3. Nesting 4. Drinking water 5. Flying 6. Other (describe)

Habitat (H) a. Primary or secondary forest b. Open area, e.g.: field or garden c. Forest edge d. Plantation/reforestation area (what type) e. Other (describe)

Conditions (C) 1. Rain 2. Cloud/fog 3. Other (describe)

Table 7-2 Ara ambigua records for Phase 093 & 094

Date 03/07/2009 04/07/2009 07/07/2009 23/07/2009 15/09/2009 07/10/2009 24/10/2009 24/10/2009 31/10/2009 31/10/2009 01/11/2009 02/11/2009 09/11/2009 10/11/2009 16/11/2009 18/11/2009 19/11/2009 24/11/2009 26/11/2009 28/11/2009 28/11/2009 29/11/2009 04/12/2009 05/12/2009 07/12/2009 09/12/2009 09/12/2009

Hour 10:43 7:30 5:35 7:00 7:00 6:15 7:20 6:15 16:00 15:50 8:05 6:41 7:00 13:30 14:10 6:55 16:30 6:18 7:18 16:15 16:30 9:00 15:16 6:15 16:45

Place In front of Caño Palma Station across the canal - going South End of AQT01 Caño Palma Canal CPA03 Caño Palma Station Caño Palma Station Tortuguero National Park Aquatic Trail Section 1 Caño Chiquero, Tortuguero National Park Caño Chiquero, Tortuguero National Park On Caño Penetencia, Just North of San Fran On main canal 5 mins South of Tortuguero Caño Harold, Tortuguero National Park Caño Chiquero, Tortuguero National Park Penetencia, at the power lines north of Tortuguero North of San Francisco North of San Francisco North of San Francisco on Penetencia National Park Rangers Station, Cuatro Esquinas Just South of San Francisco village Tortuguero National Park Aquatic Trail Section 2 Caño Chiquero, Tortuguero National Park San Francisco Tortugero National Park Caño Harold, Tortuguero National Park Penetencia Tortuguero National Park Caño Palma Station

# 4 3 11 3 4 2 2 2 3 3 3 8 5 2 4 2 1 2 3 2 2 3

A 2 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 2 5 2 2 5 5 5 5

H c b c

Tree Type Almendro tree

C 2 2 2 3

a a a a a b a c c c c c a a a c c a

2 2 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3

6 2 2

5 5

c a a

8 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. 8.1 Results

The phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from October 2nd 2009 – December 11th 2009. Table 8-1 Weekly environmental averages for phase
Rainfall (mm) 127.70 97.60 24.40 96.70 65.90 128.50 350.50 344.30 173.40 48.50 Average Humidity (%) 88.14 87.07 80.36 88.71 87.71 88.71 89.71 89.21 88.64 87.86 Average Canal Depth (cm) 103.43 115.71 86.93 84.14 94.43 93.53 131.79 153.82 117.36 97.50

Week one two three four five six seven eight nine ten

Max Temp (6PM) 32.57 31.00 26.00 30.43 29.29 29.86 27.00 27.67 30.29 29.83

Min Temp (6AM) 19.86 19.86 18.00 20.29 19.86 20.43 20.43 20.00 20.14 21.00

Table 8-2 Monthly environmental averages for year

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

Rainfall (mm) 160.2 198.4 93.4 88.6 50.9 113.08 178.5 133.8 341.5 361.4 968.1

Max Temp (6PM) 32 32 30 32 32 32 34 35 32.73 30.23 26.57

Min Temp (6AM) 16 17 19 20 21 17 19 17 20.08 19.58 20.2

Average Humidity (%) 88.1 88.5 86.3 83 84.8 84.95 86.21 84.56 86.36 86.21 85.9

Average Canal Depth (cm) 101.8 116.3 102.9 85.5 93 89.75 105.93 98.61 97.34 97.76 116.78

9 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 9-1 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

9.1

Results

The phase data represented in the tables below covers the period from October 2nd 2009 – December 11th 2009. Table 9-2 General Canal boat impact data for phase

Number of surveys this phase

9

Average number of boats per day for the phase Average number of passengers per tour boat for phase Average number of passengers per lodge transfer for phase Average number of passengers per work associated boat for phase Average number of passengers per private boat for phase Average number of people per survey day Most commonly recorded tourist boat for phase Most commonly recorded non tourist / private boat for phase Most commonly recorded lodge for phase

53 10 12 3 4 353 Esmeralda Lusia Vista Al Mar

Table 9-3 Activity by usage type

Total number of tourist boats Total number of non-tourist boats Total number of passengers in tourist boats Total number of passengers in non-tourist boats Percentage of boats using 4s engines

309 168 2668 505 79%

Figure 9-1 Canal usage by tourist boat vs. non-tourist boat

Figure 9-2 Breakdown of canal usage by Lodge

Figure 9-3 Total number of boat by time for phase

9.2

Related links

Ecotourism overflow: local implications of restrictive conservation Management: Poster to the Mesoamerican Congress 2009

10 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. 10.1 Summary Classes continued as usual in San Francisco, with higher level English lessons being taught to the local children. Thursdays were designed to target 4th-6th graders, with Monday and Tuesdays remaining for the younger kids. As with previous phases, volunteers came in every Monday to help with teaching. Furthermore, every Thursday and Friday mornings were given to the private teaching of two young boys after being approached by a couple of mothers of San Francisco. Adult classes continued to be twice weekly, and brought out between three to five students each time. The volunteers were also involved in helping the children make flowers and painting their faces for participation in the community float at the Tortuguero community parade.

Community Event this phase was looking at Deforestation, and the team performed a play in Spanish about a Macaw family being made homeless by deforestation. The volunteers also had a seed and spoon race with the children and a crafts section making puppets. Along with the children classes and assistance with community event and the habitat healers, the volunteers also helped our community intern, Amelia, to set up a recycling area at the local boat taxi rank. This is now allowing the local community to separate plastic, paper and alluminium.

10.2 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

11 Activities and Final Summary
It is good to know that what is done here by GVI in Costa Rica can change a person’s life. Bill Valaika, an ex-volunteer returned to Caño Palma after establishing an

organisation committed to clearing man-made rubbish off of beaches and from communities. We hope that the Habitat Healers are able to continue their success of recruiting volunteers to help clear rubbish off the beaches and continue to raise awareness back in the USA. Throughout the phase, we continued to support the Weaving for Nature project from Widecast, raising over $293. 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 The phase started with welcoming back a past volunteer and scholar, Richard Phillips as a Field Staff Member. We also saw the return of a former Field Staff Member, Sara Calcada in her new role of Field Coordinator. Sara came back to replace David Jones as he became the Country Director after the departure of Rebecca Chaverri who is moving further afield to America. We wish everyone success in their new roles. However, even though we say hello to some old friends, GVI said goodbye to two staff members, Richard Bull and Wing Tsui after twelve months of work at Caño Palma. They are off travelling and then heading back home and we wish them prosperity in their future fields. 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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