Study

Biology and conservation of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, at Playa Langosta, Costa Rica

  • Published source details Chaves-Quirós A.C., Serrano G., Marin G., Arguedas E., Jimenez A. & Spotila J.R. (1996) Biology and conservation of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, at Playa Langosta, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 2, 184-189.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use education and/or awareness campaigns to improve behaviour towards reptiles and reduce threats

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Patrol or monitor nesting beaches

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use education and/or awareness campaigns to improve behaviour towards reptiles and reduce threats

    A study in 1991–1992 on a sandy beach in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica (Chaves-Quirós  et al. 1996) found that while an education programme with local communities along with beach patrols for research and less frequently for turtle nest protection were taking place, there was a decrease in the percentage of leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nests lost to poaching. Results were not statistically tested, and the effect of the different actions cannot be separated. In the first month of the education programme (October 1991), the percentage of nests lost to poaching was 91% (49 of 54 nests); in the second month (November) it was 51% (102 of 199 nests); and over the following four months it was 0–2% (of around 500 nests). In October–November 1991, an education and communications programme was carried out with local communities that involved organising trips to see the turtles, the chance to help with turtle research, lectures, lessons, slideshows, and local distribution of a brochure on leatherback turtle biology and conservation. Activities were also carried out with scout groups and the National Museum of Costa Rica (dates not provided). The beach was patrolled nightly for research purposes from October 1991–March 1992. Additional patrols were carried out by rural guards for three weeks in November and December, and periodically during January and February.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

  2. Patrol or monitor nesting beaches

    A study in 1991–1992 on a sandy beach in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica (Chaves-Quirós et al. 1996) found that while a combination of periodic beach patrols for turtle nest protection; beach patrols for research; and education programmes with local communities were taking place, there was a decrease in the percentage of leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nests lost to poaching. Results were not statistically tested, and the effect of the different actions cannot be separated. The percentage of nests lost to poaching was 91% (49 of 54 nests) in October when patrols began; 51% (102 of 199 nests) in November; and 0–2% (of around 500 nests) in December–March. The beach was patrolled nightly for research purposes from October 1991–March 1992. Additional patrols were carried out by rural guards for three weeks in November and December, and periodically during January and February. In October–November 1991, an education and communications programme was carried out with local communities that involved organising trips to see the turtles, the chance to help with turtle research, lectures, lessons, slideshows, and local distribution of a brochure on leatherback turtle biology and conservation. Activities were also carried out with scout groups and the National Museum of Costa Rica (dates not provided).

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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