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Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Hand-in-Hand: A three year review from Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa

Marine Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Hand-in-Hand:

A three year review from Playa Norte,

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Stephanny Arroyo Arce, Wing Tsui, Diogo Verissimo, Julie Jackson, James Lewis, David Aneurin Jones and Rebeca Chaverri

Email: costarica@gviworld.com Global Vision International Costa Rica, Apartado Postal 78-7209, Cariari de Pococí, Limón, Costa Rica.

Global Vision International Costa Rica, Apartado Postal 78-7209, Cariari d e Pococí, Limón, Costa Rica.

Study Site

Study Site Maps: MINAET & googlemaps
Study Site Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Study Site Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Study Site

Study Site Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Study Site

Study Site Maps: MINAET & googlemaps
Study Site Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Maps: MINAET & googlemaps

Project Aims

General

Project Aims General M onitor the dynamics of the marine turtle populations of Playa Norte and

Monitor the dynamics of the marine turtle populations of Playa Norte and mitigate the impact of human activities on their conservation status through filed research, active outreach and cooperation with local stakeholders.

Conservation

Reduce poaching rates by maintaining a presence on the beach and by disguising and relocating nests Educate the local community and tourists about marine turtle conservation Manage the beach habitat to increase availability of nesting sites Investigate the impact of development on the marine turtle population

Scientific

Gather biometric data on nesting marine turtles Record the spatial and temporal distribution of nesting activity Monitor the number of nesting emergences Determine the poaching level of nests and turtles Record nest survivorship and hatching rates Monitor the apparent health of nesting females Track re-emergences and migrations between nesting beaches Monitor the impact of tourism on the turtle population

T rack re-emergences and migrations between nesting beaches M onitor the impact of tourism on the

Work Conducted

Work Conducted Night walks : Nesting Seasons (Mar-Oct) Spatial & temporal distribution of nests Biometric

Night walks: Nesting Seasons (Mar-Oct) Spatial & temporal distribution of nests Biometric information Nest marking Tagging nesting females Nest relocation*

& temporal distribution of nests Biometric information Nest marking Tagging nesting females Nest relocation*

Work Conducted

Work Conducted Night walks : Nesting Seasons (Mar-Oct) Spatial & temporal distribution of nests Biometric

Night walks: Nesting Seasons (Mar-Oct) Spatial & temporal distribution of nests Biometric information Nest marking Tagging nesting females Nest relocation* Morning Census: Year Round Record new tracks of nesting turtles Erase all tracks Camouflage nests Determine the status nest laid in past two days

Record new tracks of nesting turtles Erase all tracks Camouflage nests Determine the status nest laid

Work Conducted

Work Conducted Night walks : Nesting Seasons (Mar-Oct) Spatial & temporal distribution of nests Biometric

Night walks: Nesting Seasons (Mar-Oct) Spatial & temporal distribution of nests Biometric information Nest marking Tagging nesting females Nest relocation* Morning Census: Year Round Record new tracks of nesting turtles Erase all tracks Camouflage nests Determine the status nest laid in past two days

Excavations: Hatchling Season (Jun-Dec)

all tracks Camouflage nests Determine the status nest laid in past two days Excavations : Hatchling

Work Conducted continued

Work Conducted continued Habitat Management: Year Round Educational Classes & Events: Year Round
Habitat Management: Year Round Educational Classes & Events: Year Round
Habitat Management:
Year Round
Educational Classes & Events:
Year Round
Work Conducted continued Habitat Management: Year Round Educational Classes & Events: Year Round

Results

Results Playa Norte receives up to four species of marine turtles…

Playa Norte receives up to four species of marine turtles…

Results Playa Norte receives up to four species of marine turtles…

Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)

Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) CRITICALLY ENDANGERED Photo seaturtle.org
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
CRITICALLY
ENDANGERED

Photo seaturtle.org

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Photo seaturtle.org ENDANGERED

Photo seaturtle.org

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Photo seaturtle.org ENDANGERED

ENDANGERED

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) CRITICALLY ENDANGERED Photo seaturtle.org
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
CRITICALLY
ENDANGERED

Photo seaturtle.org

Loggerhead* (Caretta caretta)

Loggerhead* (Caretta caretta) ENDANGERED *Incidentally recorded Photo seaturtle.org
Loggerhead* (Caretta caretta) ENDANGERED *Incidentally recorded Photo seaturtle.org
ENDANGERED
ENDANGERED

*Incidentally recorded

Photo seaturtle.org

Nests 2007-2009

Nests 2007-2009 NB: All data presented for 2009 is correct until October 7 t h Table

NB: All data presented for 2009 is correct until October 7 th

Table 1. Number of nests recorded for 2007 to 2009, Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Species

Nesting Season

2007

2008

2009

C. mydas

803

442

154

D. coriacea

50

88

70

E.

imbricata

16

27

19

2007 2008 2009 C . m y d a s 803 442 154 D. coriacea 50

Temporal distribution:

Dermochelys coriacea

Temporal distribution: Dermochelys coriacea 2007 2008 2009 10 8 6 4 2 0 Number of nests
2007 2008 2009 10 8 6 4 2 0 Number of nests 8 9 10
2007
2008
2009
10
8
6
4
2
0
Number of nests
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27

Week of the year

Figure 1. Temporal distribution of leatherback nests during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica.

distribution of leatherback nests during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa

Temporal distribution:

Chelonia mydas

Temporal distribution: Chelonia mydas 2007 2008 2009 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Number of
2007 2008 2009 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Number of nests 8 10
2007
2008
2009
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Number of nests
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
30
32
34
36
38
40
42

Week of the year

Figure 2. Temporal distribution of green nests during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica.

2. Temporal distribution of green nests during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte,

Temporal distribution:

Eremochelys imbricata

Temporal distribution : Eremochelys imbricata 2007 2008 2009 5 4 3 2 1 0 Number of
2007 2008 2009 5 4 3 2 1 0 Number of nests 8 10 12
2007
2008
2009
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of nests
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
30
32

Week of the year

Figure 3. Temporal distribution of hawksbill nests during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica.

Temporal distribution of hawksbill nests duri ng the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte,

00:30

06:00

01:30

04:30

02:00

05:30

06:30

04:00

00:00

07:00

22:30

05:00

03:30

03:00

19:30

19:00

02:30

23:00

22:00

21:30

21:00

20:30

23:30

20:00

Encounter times

20072008 2009

2007 2008 2009

2008

20092007 2008

21:00 20:30 23:30 20:00 Encounter times 2007 2008 2009 140 120 100 80 60 40 20
140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Num ber of tracks
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Num ber of tracks

Encounter time

Figure 4. Peak of activity during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Encounter time Figure 4. Peak of activity during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa

Tagging

Tagging Table 2. Turtles newly tag during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte,

Table 2. Turtles newly tag during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte,

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Species

Nesting Season

2007

2008

2009

C.

mydas

106

79

30

D. coriacea

8

10

11

E.

imbricata

4

47

D. coriacea 8 10 11 E. imbricata 4 47 Returning address Dept. Biol.UF, Gainesville, FL, USA

Returning address Dept. Biol.UF, Gainesville, FL, USA

Tag Series: Inconel CP0000 & Monel VA0000

imbricata 4 47 Returning address Dept. Biol.UF, Gainesville, FL, USA Tag Series: Inconel CP0000 & Monel

Hatching information

Hatching information For the nesting season 2008, the succe ss rate for leatherbacks nests was 75%,

For the nesting season 2008, the success rate for leatherbacks nests was 75%, for green nests 85%, and for hawksbill nests 64%

Table 3. Number of hatched nests and hatchlings, 2007-2009, Playa Norte,

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Species

Number of hatched nests

Number of hatchlings

C. mydas

254

25,151

D. coriacea

62

2,624

E.

imbricata

18

2,203

of hatched nests Number of hatchlings C. mydas 254 25,151 D. coriacea 62 2,624 E. imbricata

3/8

1/8

1/8

1/8

7/8

7/8

3/8

3/8

5/8

5/8

1/8

7/8

5/8

2
3

1
2

2
2

1

1
1

Spatial distribution

20072008 2009

20082007 2009

2007 2008 2009

2009

3 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 Spatial distribution 2007 2008 2009 120 100 80
120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Number of nests
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Number of nests

Beach sector

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of sea turtles during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

5. Spatial distribution of sea turtles during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte,

Nest poaching

Poached Nest

Poached

Poached Nest

Nest

Nest poaching Poached Nest 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Number of nests 2007 2008 Nesting
1000 800 600 400 200 0 Number of nests
1000
800
600
400
200
0
Number of nests

2007

2008

Nesting season

2009

Figure 6. Poaching rate of nest after two days that the eggs were laid, during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at Playa Norte, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

after two days that the eggs were laid, during the nesting season 2007 to 2009 at

Poaching of adult turtles

Poaching of adult turtles 14 turtle carcasses were recorded 2007 – 3 Cm 2008 – 6

14 turtle carcasses were recorded

2007 – 3 Cm

2008 – 6 Cm; 1 Ei

(one nested)

2009 – 4 Cm

18 additional signs of poaching

were recorded (lifted turtles)

2007 – 3 Cm

2008 – 8 Cm; 1 Ei

2009 – 6 Cm; 1 Ei

(seven nested)

signs of poaching were recorded (lifted turtles) 2007 – 3 Cm 2008 – 8 Cm; 1
signs of poaching were recorded (lifted turtles) 2007 – 3 Cm 2008 – 8 Cm; 1
signs of poaching were recorded (lifted turtles) 2007 – 3 Cm 2008 – 8 Cm; 1

On two occasions turtles were found alive in the vegetation during morning census and released

alive in the vegetation during morning census and released Picture taken from Turning the turtle ;
alive in the vegetation during morning census and released Picture taken from Turning the turtle ;

Picture taken from Turning the turtle; BBC Wildlife, May 2009

The Future

?

The Future ?
The Future ?
The Future ?

The Future

?

The Future ?
The Future ?
The Future ?

The Future

?

The Future ? -- -- 14% poaching from excavation data available until October 7, 2009
The Future ? -- -- 14% poaching from excavation data available until October 7, 2009

---- 14% poaching from excavation data available until October 7,

2009

The Future ? -- -- 14% poaching from excavation data available until October 7, 2009

The Future

?

The Future ?
The Future ?
The Future ?
The Future ?
The Future ?

Thanks

Volunteers and staff

Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from

Project partner

With financial support from

Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from

With institutional support from

Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from
Thanks Volunteers and staff Project partner With financial support from With institutional support from