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  • COSTA RICA RESEARCH PROGRAMME (CBP)

    CBP Phase 201 Science Report January 2020 - March 2020

    Matthew Smart Principal Investigator (PI) Patrice Cuenat Project Manager (PM) Anton Antonov Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Becky Gordon Assistant Research Officer (ARO) India Ashfield Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Nadia Jeffrey Assistant Research Officer (ARO)

  • Contents

    1 Staff Members 3

    2 Foreword 3

    3 Introduction 5 3.1 Natural History of Costa Rica and its Wildlife Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.2 Osa Peninsula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 3.3 Aims and Objectives of Frontier CBP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    4 Training 9 4.1 Briefing Sessions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 4.2 Science Lectures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 4.3 Field Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

    5 Research Work Programme 11 5.1 Survey Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    6 Projects 14 6.1 Assessing the degree of disturbance and secondary succession on forest habitats in Carate,

    Osa Peninsula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 6.1.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 6.1.2 Aims of Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 6.1.3 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 6.1.4 Results and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 6.1.5 Conclusions and Implications for Future Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 6.1.6 Limitations and Future Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    6.2 The Occurrence and Forest Type Preference of Four New World Primates . . . . . . . . . 22 6.2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 6.2.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 6.2.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 6.2.4 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    6.3 Investigating the Habitat Preference of the Riverside Wren (Thryothorus semibadius), an Endemic and Data Deficient Bird Species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 6.3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 6.3.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 6.3.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 6.3.4 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 6.3.5 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

    6.4 Variations in Amphibian and Reptile Abundance and Density due to Changes in Season and Habitat Age and the Utilization of Microhabitat by Anole Lizards. . . . . . . . . . . . 36 6.4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 6.4.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 6.4.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 6.4.4 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 6.4.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

    6.5 Assessing and Improving Sea Turtle Predation and Hatching Success Rates; A Study from Playa Carate, Costa Rica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 6.5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 6.5.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 6.5.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 6.5.4 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 6.5.5 Future research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

    6.6 Assessment of the Social Dynamics of the ACOSA Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Population, Situated in Carate, Costa Rica. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 6.6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 6.6.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

    1

  • 6.6.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 6.6.4 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 6.6.5 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

    6.7 An Assessment of the Mammal Diversity and Distribution in Carate, Costa Rica. . . . . . 79 6.7.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 6.7.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

    6.8 An Asessment of the Diversity and Abundance of Birds of Prey in Carate, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 6.8.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 6.8.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

    6.9 Diversity and Abundance of Birds of Prey in Carate, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. . . . . . 83 6.9.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 6.9.2 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 6.9.3 Project to Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

    7 References 85

    2

  • 1 Staff Members

    Patrice Cuenat (PC) Project Manager (PM) Matthew Smart (MS) Principal Investigator (PI) Anton Antonov (AA) Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Becky Gordon (BG) Assistant Research Officer (ARO) India Ashfield (IA) Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Nadia Jeffrey (NJ) Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Mateo Winterscheidt (MW) Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Tom Cawdron (TC) Assistant Research Officer (ARO) Tristan White (TW) Assistant Research Officer (ARO)

    2 Foreword

    It is with great pleasure that I present this document, which contains the results of the scientific studies undertaken by the Frontier Costa Rica Forest (CBP) project. This report contains all the data collection methodologies, results, analyses along with the conclusions of the avian, habitat, herpetological, mam- malian, primate and sea turtle studies, as well as background information on the biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula and future development ideas for the project.

    Like many tropical countries, Costa Rica lost a significant portion of its forests to agriculture in the 20th century, peaking in the 1980s at 48% of the national territory (Stan & Sanchez, 2017; Arroyo-Mora, et al., 2005). With an increase in global demand for meat in the late 1950s, Costa Rica’s demand to export beef came primarily from the United States, supported by loans from the World Bank and other international development organizations (Parsons, 1983). As a result, large areas of forest were converted into farm- land and pasture, leading to the destruction and fragmentation of many forest habitats (Arroyo-Mora et al., 2005; Solorzano et al., 1991). Habitat fragmentation causes isolated areas to become overcrowded inhibiting animals from moving to breed with other populations. This led to inbreeding, which decreased the heterozygosity and therefore the overall genetic fitness of the population (Keyghobadi, 2007).

    Costa Rica since has been considered a global frontrunner with regards to conservation and the protec- tion of natural spaces in developing countries. Measures to aid the restoration and conservation of forest habitats, such as the implementation of payments for environmental services (PES) and a government ban on deforestation (Fagan et al., 2016). Despite such conservation efforts, centuries of evolution and diversification have created the complex ecosystems that can be seen in pockets however, deforestation has inevitably left scars and impacts which can have a wide range of effects on ecosystem services. Al- though studies have suggested considerable biodiversity can be supported it is still unknown whether regenerating (i.e. secondary) forests are able to effectively sustain wildlife populations as well as forests untouched by human disturbance (i.e. primary forests) (Dent & Wright, 2009; Fagan et al., 2016; Klimes et al., 2012; Mackey et al., 2015; Ribeiro et al., 2009). Furthermore, ecosystems in regenerating forests continue to suffer from human activities, such as hunting, logging, and cattle grazing (Stan & Sanchez, 2017). It is therefore important to conduct baseline comparison studies in areas that have been anthro- pogenically disturbed, in order to determine the full extent of damage caused by deforestation and how effectively regenerating forests can support wildlife.

    In addition to forest dwelling s

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