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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Cameras in Costa Rica show endangered animal species roaming private wildlife refuges

A technology system consisting on hidden cameras or “trap cameras,” is being used by wildlife refuges in Costa Rica. Privately managed wildlife refuges help preserve endangered species in the territory.

Places like Montaña de Tigre Private Wildlife Refuge (Mountain of the Tiger Private Wildlife Refuge), located in Buenos Aires, Puntarenas, has been one to report and show images of several species roaming around in its land. This site is managed by the company Fresh Del Monte.

The cameras placed throughout the Refuge, have helped identify the presence and movement of, at least, four endangered species:

  • Ocelots (Leopardus Pardalis)
  • Yaguarundis (Herpailurus Yagouaroundi)
  • Pumas or mountain lions (Puma Concolor)
  • Sainos (Pecari tajacu)

Furthermore, other animals whose populations have been considerable reduced, such as tepezcuintles (Cuniculus Paca) and red-tailed squirrels (Sciurus Granatesi), have been detected and recognized by the conservation experts.

Esteban Brenes, biologist and research team leader, mentioned that “in a forest that looks like it’s empty a lot of things happen, mainly when we are watching or at night.” The investigations and studies have been significant and important for the efforts in protecting wildlife.

It is important to note, the images show other animals have also appeared: more than 154 birds were also discovered during the seven months that the primary and secondary forest was under supervision.

Brenes and other biologists’ part of the team, pointed out that it is essential to take into account the presence of biodiversity when planning and executing agricultural strategies. It is particularly important to consider those actions that could negatively impact these ecosystems. He highlighted the importance of studies such as the one carried out in Fresh Del Monte’s refuge, because having this information allows the company and the community to avoid any actions that could have a negative impact.

Additionally, Brenes was emphatic in pointing out that “We humans have done something wrong which is to create something and then mitigate the impact, but now we know.”

For Fresh Del Monte, conservation is part of their responsibilities and something they take very seriously. The company has been creating natural corridors for these animals between forested areas and crop areas, to prevent damaging ecosystems.

Michael Calderón, Head of the Legal Department at Fresh Del Monte, “We have been developing a series of actions. These include training employees in flora and fauna conservation. Also, patrolling and participatory monitoring.”

These places have been a wonderful way of positively impacting the ecosystems and safeguarding the environment. The refuge also serves as a deterrent to illegal hunting, a problem that has brought some of these species to the brink of extinction.

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