Protecting our Forests

Entering and analyzing data collected from pilot program with camera traps to monitor terrestrial mammals at two communities of the Osa Peninsula Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre and Rancho Quemado.

Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar Camara Trap

Initiating and contributing to reforestation projects in all forests, from the rainforest to mangroves

 

Biological Monitoring 

Biological monitoring is an important tool to better manage protected areas, being part of the puzzle of information that helps protected areas managers to make important decisions to further preserve wildlife. Even when biological monitoring is not a new science, it is only until now that its value is better recognized better methodologies have been developed. Citizen science is a new approach for biological monitoring, which involves regular people on the gathering of information, not only producing valuable information but engaging people on wildlife conservation.  

Costa Rican Ministry of Environment

Osa Conservation Area, with Osa Birds, Fundación CRUSA, USFWS and JAICA, started a pilot plan to use cameras traps to monitor terrestrial mammals at two communities of the Osa Peninsula- Dos Brazos de Río Tigre and Rancho Quemado-. A group of 15 people from both communities combined were train in the use of cameras tramps and at the beginning of 2016 7 cameras traps were installed on seven different sites per a month. Data still need to be enter and analyze, although we already know there are two different jaguars that showed on one camera.

This project offers a unique opportunity to learn about biological monitoring, cameras traps, community involvement and also, to expand this project into palm oil plantation, as a way to better understand the biodiversity this landscape can hold.

Analyzing data with Minae

Guido Saborio from MINAET teaching the importance of biological monitoring

Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar

Collecting memory card from camera at Piedras Blancas National Park with Greddy Porras, MINAET

Osa Conservation 

Students received an presentation by Osa Conservation on large mammal ecology and learned about habitats, home range, prey and the five species of felids in the Osa Peninsula. They also learned about the methods Osa Conservation uses to monitor and track their populations. 

Presentation by Osa Conservation 

 

Mangrove Reforestation

Playa Blanca, Costa Rica is located in a region characterized for its diversity of habitats, ranging from estuaries and mangroves to the beach and rainforest. While joining LAST in their mangrove reforestation project, the students were able to witness the importance of these vulnerable ecosystems, which are home to so many different species of plants and animals. And it just so happens that one of the species often found in or near the mangrove forests is the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill sea turtle. Therefore by aiding the mangroves we are helping the Hawksbills.

We planted Rhizophora mangle or Red mangrove. Red mangroves are called ‘red’ due to the reddish coloring of their roots. The roots grow from the trunk or branches and down towards the ground, where they eventually anchor themselves. These trees produce seeds or propagules approximately twice a year.

Why are mangroves important? 

  • Mangroves provide food

  • Mangroves provide direct and indirect protection from predators

  • Mangroves prevent erosion, acting as the first line of defense between the sea and land

  • Mangroves sequester a huge amount of Carbon dioxide which reduces the amount in our environment

Danielle Berkowitz, Danielle Berkowitz-Sklar Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar trees
David Berkowitz-Sklar