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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Pesticide Cocktail Poisons Costa Rica’s Sixaola River

A UNDP study has uncovered significant pesticide contamination in Costa Rica’s Sixaola River watershed, including the protected Gandoca Lagoon. The investigation detected 33 pesticides, with 13 being particularly hazardous or present in alarmingly high concentrations. This widespread use of agrochemicals threatens water sources, marine life, agricultural profitability, and food safety. The research revealed the presence of several highly toxic and restricted pesticides, some banned internationally. These findings underscore the urgent need for improved monitoring and regulation of pesticide use in Costa Rica to safeguard both environmental and human health.

Wildlife Conflicts in Urban Areas

Costa Rica has reported 38 incidents of wild felines preying on domestic animals in Costa Rica, with pumas and jaguars being the main predators. These interactions are largely attributed to urban expansion, which leads to habitat loss and ecosystem fragmentation. While sightings of wild cats in urban areas are rare, they may use various landscapes as transit zones. It advises residents to stay indoors and keep pets inside when wild cats are spotted. The organization is also working with farmers and communities to implement anti-predatory measures and better livestock management practices to reduce conflicts between wild felines and domestic animals. These efforts aim to balance human activities with wildlife conservation in Costa Rica’s changing landscapes.

Pigmentation in Costa Rican Howler Monkeys

A team at the University of Costa Rica has been studying unusual coloration in howler monkeys since 2021. Initially believed to be caused by pesticides, their research disproved this theory, as over 98% of samples tested negative for 78 different pesticides. The team then explored genetic factors, finding that abnormal pigmentation appears to have a significant hereditary component. Offspring of abnormally pigmented females often display similar traits. While the unusual coloration doesn’t seem to affect the monkeys’ behavior or reproduction, concerns remain about increased visibility to predators and potential vulnerability to UV radiation due to lack of eumelanin. Future research will focus on identifying specific genes associated with this coloration and its impact on monkey survival, aiming to inform conservation strategies for these primates and their habitats

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