Monitoring species of mammals using track collection by rangers in the Tilarán mountain range, Costa Rica
Keywords:Citizen-science, Cuniculus paca, endangered species, environmental education, Monteverde, Panthera onca, reserve management.
AbstractAlthough monitoring of animal populations for informed decision making is fundamental for the conservation and management of biodiversity, monitoring programs are not widely implemented. In addition, monitoring plans often represent an economic burden for many conservation organizations. Here we report on the monitoring of five focal species of mammals in the Tilarán mountain range, Costa Rica. We used a participatory approach in which trained rangers of four institutions conducted trail surveys in an area of ca 50,000ha to determine the presence/absence of the paca (Cuniculus paca), collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), tapir (Tapirus bairdii), jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) using track collections. Permanent transects of 3 km were sampled on the same day every month in 2000-01 (141 km) and 2009-10 (303 km). Four of the five focal species were registered in our sampling. One of the most valuable outcomes of the study was the initiative of the rangers to train community members to participate in the monitoring plan. We believe that this participatory approach not only has great potential for the integration of rangers in long term monitoring, but also the incorporation of citizen science-based programs. Multi-institutional collaboration for species monitoring could reduce costs and increase the sampling effort.
Beck-king, H. & Von Helversen, O. (1999). Home range, population density, and food resources of Agouti paca (Rodentia: Agoutidae) in Costa Rica: a study using alternative methods. Biotropica 31: 675-685.
Bruner, A., Gullison, R & Balmford, A. (2004). Financial costs and shortfalls of managing and expanding protected-area systems in developing countries. BioScience 54: 1119-1126.
Burlingame, L. J. (2000). Conservation in the Monteverde Zone: contributions of conservation organizations. In N. M. Nadkarni and N. T. Wheelwright (Eds), Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest, p.p. 351-374. Oxford University Press, New York, U. S. A.
Butchart, S.H.M. et al. (2010). Global biodiversity: Indicators of recent declines. Science 328: 1164-1168.
Carrillo, E., Wong, G., & Cuarón, A. (2000). Monitoring mammal populations in Costa Rican protected areas under different hunting restrictions. Conserv. Biol. 14: 1580-1591.
Chape, S., Harrison, J., Spalding, M., & Lysenko, I. (2005). Measuring the extent and effectiveness of protected areas as an indicator for meeting global biodiversity targets. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 360: 443-455.
Daily, G. C., G. Ceballos, J. Pacheco, G. Suzán and A. Sánchez-Azofeifa. (2003). Contryside biogeography of neotropical mammals: Conservation opportunities in agricultural landscapes of Costa Rica. Conserv. Biol. 17: 1814-1826.
De Angelo, C., Paviolo, A. & Di Bitetti, M. (2011). Differential impact of landscape transformation on pumas (Puma concolor) and jaguars (Panthera onca) in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. Diversity Distrib. 17: 422-436.
Gibbs, J. P. (2000). Monitoring populations. In L. Boitani and T. K. Fuller (Eds), Research techniques in animal ecology controversies and consequences. Columbia University Press p. p. 213-247, New York, U. S.A..
Green, R. E., Blamford, A., Crane, P., Mace, G., Reynolds, J., & Turner, K. (2005). A framework for improved monitoring of biodiversity: Responses to the world summit on sustainable development. Conserv. Biol. 19: 56-65.
Haber, W. (2000). Plants and vegetation. In N. M. Nadkarni and N. T. Wheelwright (Eds), Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest, p.p. 39-70. Oxford University Press, New York, U. S. A.
Harris, S. & Yalden, D. (2004). An integrated monitoring programme for terrestrial mammals in Britain. Mammal Rev. 34: 157-167.
Hayes, M., La Val, R., Fogden, M. & Fogden, P. (1983). The mammals of Monteverde, an annotated check list to the mammals of Monteverde, Monteverde, Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica.
Henle, K., Bauch, b., Auliya, M., Külvik, M., Pe’er, G., Schmeller, D., & Framstad, E. (2013). Priorities for biodiversity monitoring in Europe: A review of supranational policies and novel scheme for integrative prioritization. Ecol. Indic. 33: 5-18.
Holdridge, L. R. (1966). The life zone system. Adansonia 6: 199-203.
Kindberg, J., Ericsson, G., & Swenson, J. (2009). Monitoring rare or elusive large mammals using effort-corrected voluntary observers. Biol. Conserv. 142: 159-165.
Kremer, C., Merenlender, A., & Murphy, D. (1994). Ecological monitoring: A vital need for integrated conservation and development programs in the tropics. Conserv. Biol. 8: 388-397.
Lawton, R. O. (2000). Baird’s Tapir. In N. M. Nadkarni and N. T. Wheelwright (Eds), Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest, p.p. 242-243. Oxford University Press, New York, U. S. A.
Lindenmayer, D. & Likens, G. (2009). Adaptive monitoring: a new paradigm for long-term research and monitoring. Trends Ecol. Evol. 24: 482-486.
Lovett, G.M., Burns, D., Driscoll, C., Jenkins, J., Mitchell, M., Rustad, L., Shanley, J., Likens, G., & Haeuber, R. (2007). Who needs environmental monitoring? Front Ecol. Environ. 5: 253-260.
Nadkarni N. M. & Wheelwright, N.T. (2000). Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest. Oxford University Press, New York, U. S. A.
Pacheco, J., Ceballos, G., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Suzán, G., Rodríguez-Herrera, B. & Marcé. E. (2006). Diversidad, historia natural y conservación de los mamíferos de San Vito de Coto Brus, Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54:219-240.
Pusey, A.E., Pintea, L., Wilson, M., Kamenya, S., & Goodall, J. (2007). The contribution of long-term research at Gombe National Park to Chimpanzee conservation. Conserv Biol. 21: 623-634.
Quigley, H.B. & Crawshaw, P. (1992). A conservation plan for the jaguar Panthera onca in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Biol. Conserv. 61: 149-157.
Rabinowitz, A. R. & Nottingham, B. (1986). Ecology and behaviour of the Jaguar (Panthera onca) in Belize, Central America. J. Zool., Lond A 210: 149-159.
Redford, K.H. & Robinson, T.G. (1987). The game of choice: Patterns of Indian and colonist hunting in the neotropics. Am. Anthropol. New Series 89: 650-667.
Reid, F. A. (1997). A field guide to the mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press. New York, U.S.A.
Sáenz J., Carrillo, E., & Wong, G. (1999). Mammals of the Arenal Conservation Area. Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad. San José, Costa Rica.
Salom-Pérez, R., Carrillo, E., Sáenz, J., & Mora, M. (2007). Critical condition of the jaguar in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Orix 41:51-56.
Schaller, G. & Crawshaw, P. (1980). Movement patterns of jaguar. Biotropica 12: 161-168.
Schmeller, D.S., Henry, P., Julliard, R et al. (2009). Advantages of volunteer-based biodiversity monitoring in Europe. Conserv. Biol. 23: 307-316.
Sheil, D. (2001). Conservation and biodiversity monitoring in the tropics: Realities, priorities, and distractions. Conserv. Biol. 15: 1179-1182.
Sinclair A.R.E., S.A.R. Mduma, G.C. Hopcraft, J.M. FryxelL, R. Hilborn & S. Thirgood. (2007). Long-term ecosystem dynamics in the Serengeti: Lessons from conservation. Conserv. Biol. 21: 580-590.
Sollmann, R., M. M. Furtado, H. Hofer, A. T. A. Jácomo, N. M. Tôrres and L. Silvera. (2012). Using occupancy models to investigate space partitioning between two sympatric large predators, the jaguar and puma in central Brazil. Mamm. Biol. 77: 41-46.
Sowls, L. K. (1983). Tayassu tajacu. In D. H. Janzen (ed). Costa Rican Natural History. University Chicago Press. Chicago, U.S.A.
Stoner, C., T. Caro, S. Mduma, C. Milingwa, G. Sabuni and M. Borner. (2007). Assessment of effectiveness of protection strategies in Tanzania based on a decade of survey data for large herbivores. Conserv. Biol. 21: 635-646.
Sutherland, W.J. (2006). Ecological census techniques. Second edition. Cambridge University Press, UK.
Teder, T., M. Moora, E. Roosaluste, K. Zobel, M. Pärtel, U. Kõljalg & M. Zobel. (2007). Monitoring of biological diversity: a common-ground approach. Conserv. Biol. 21: 313-317.
Timm, R. M. & R. K. LaVal. (2000). Mammals. In N. M. Nadkarni and N. T. Wheelwright (Eds), Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest. Oxford University Press, New York, U. S. A.
Treves, A. & K.U. Karanth. (2003). Human-carnivore conflict and perspectives on carnivore management worldwide. Conserv. Biol. 6: 1491-1499.
Vaughan, H., G. Whitelaw, B. Craig & C. Stewart. (2003). Linking ecological science to decision-making: development environmental monitoring information as societal feedback. Environ. Monit. Assess. 88: 399-408.
Wainwright, M. (2007). The mammals of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical Publication, Cornell University Press, U.S.A.
Wheelwright, N. T. (2000). Conservation biology. In N. M. Nadkarni and N. T. Wheelwright (Eds), Monteverde: ecology and conservation of a tropical cloud forest. Oxford University Press, New York, U. S. A.
Wilson, D.E. (1983). Check list of mammals. In D. H. Janzen (ed). Costa Rican Natural History. University Chicago Press. Chicago.
How to Cite
Copyright is shared by the authors and the journal; contents can be reproduced if the source and copyright are acknowledged according to the Open Access license CC BY 4.0. Self-storage in preprint servers and repositories is allowed for all versions. We encourage authors to publish raw data and data logs in public repositories and to include the links with all drafts so that reviewers and readers can consult them at any time.
The journal is financed by public funds via Universidad Estatal a Distancia and editorial independence and ethical compliance are guaranteed by the Board of Editors, UNED. We do not publish paid ads or receive funds from companies.