|Posted on January 16, 2020 at 12:05 AM|
Osa Camera Trap Network 2018: Largest camera trap grid in central America
In 2013 the first region-wide community monitoring network: the Osa Camera Trap Network (OCTN) was established. The OCTN is a collective of diverse stakeholders empowered to monitor the biodiverse wildlife they live alongside producing vital information to guide conservation and restoration efforts. Over time, as more residents set out cameras, the network expanded and maintained 222 cameras across the Osa in 2018. At Saladero Ecolodge we provided 10 cameras and placed several at various locations on our property and the balance on adjacent properties, all within the Piedras Blancas National Park. In addition to identifying the various cat species we discovered a rainforest with a very healthy population of other important and sometimes endangered species.
The 2018 OCTN results revealed some surprising positive results of regional conservation efforts as well as major challenges. By comparing our results to the only other region wide survey conducted in 1990-94, we found that some species have made notable recoveries, expanding their ranges beyond the confines of Corcovado NP and are dispersing along the neck of the peninsula. An encouraging find as the Osa is too small to maintain viable populations of some species and connection with the mainland is vital for long-term conservation. However, we found apex predator the jaguar and its main prey the white-lipped peccary to be intrinsically linked and still confined to Corcovado NP.
We know jaguar and white-lipped peccary populations are small and mostly cut off from larger populations. Corcovado NP is currently holding on to the last wild individuals in the Osa. If we want to establish viable populations of both keystone species and guarantee their survival, we need to expand conservation strategies. Evaluating the current use of the AmistOsa Corridor by jaguar and white-lipped peccary populations as well as other keystone species, is essential to planning restoration efforts to create a functional biological corridor. The OCTN will expand its efforts from the Osa to the mainland by evolving into the AmistOsa monitoring network and executing the largest project yet: the reef-to-ridge mega survey. This project is a multi-tech altitudinal assessment across 3 key protected areas and their biological corridors to highlight key areas for conservation.