Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Jaguar Panthera onca predation of marine turtles: conflict between flagship species in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

  • D. Veríssimo (a1) (a2), D. A. Jones (a1), R. Chaverri (a1) and S. R. Meyer (a1)
Abstract

Predation can be an important driver of population dynamics but can also pose a dilemma to conservation managers if the species interacting are of conservation concern or have a high public profile. For 5 years we conducted regular transect surveys to monitor the spatial and temporal patterns of predation of adult marine turtles by jaguars Panthera onca in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. Predation occurs throughout the study site on Tortuguero Beach although at lower rates at the northern and southern ends, probably because of increased human presence in these areas. There was a marked increase in predation, from an average of < 2 turtles predated per survey in the first season to > 5 predated per survey in the last, with 676 jaguar-predated marine turtles recorded during the study period. With a minimum of 189 individuals predated in the last season, predation of adult turtles has now reached a magnitude never before recorded in a marine turtle rookery. Although the nesting population of marine turtles in Tortuguero is one of the largest in the world and suffers from both direct and indirect anthropogenic pressures, the increase in predation by jaguars makes this ecological interaction relevant to the management of both the jaguar and marine turtle populations. The situation could lead to a potential conflict in conservation strategies that, given the flagship role of the species involved, will need to be addressed both in the context of species management and conservation marketing.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Jaguar Panthera onca predation of marine turtles: conflict between flagship species in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Jaguar Panthera onca predation of marine turtles: conflict between flagship species in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Jaguar Panthera onca predation of marine turtles: conflict between flagship species in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail dv38@kent.ac.uk
References
Hide All
Aranda Sánchez, J.M. (1981) Rastros de los Mamíferos Silvestres de México. Instituto nacional de investigaciones sobre recursos bioticos, Xalapa, Mexico.
Atkinson, C., Nolasco, D. & Harrison, E. (2010) Report on the 2010 Leatherback Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
Atkinson, C., Ramos, L.B. & Harrison, E. (2009) Report on the 2009 Green Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
Autar, L. (1994) Sea turtles attacked and killed by jaguars in Suriname. Marine Turtle Newsletter, 67, 1112.
Balazs, G.H., Fujioka, R. & Fujioka, C. (1993) Marine turtle faeces on Hawaiian beaches. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 26, 392394.
Bermúdez, F. & Hernández, C. (2004) Plan de Manejo del Parque Nacional Tortuguero. Área de Conservación Tortuguero, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Bjorndal, K. (1980) Demography of the breeding population of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Copeia, 1980, 525530.
Bjorndal, K.A., Wetherall, J.A., Bolten, A.B. & Mortimer, J.A. (1999) Twenty-six years of green turtle nesting at Tortuguero, Costa Rica: an encouraging trend. Conservation Biology, 13, 126134.
Broderick, A.C., Frauenstein, R., Glen, F., Hays, G.C., Jackson, A.L., Pelembe, T. et al. (2006) Are green turtles globally endangered/ Global Ecology and Biogeography, 15, 2126.
Campbell, C.L. & Lagueux, C.J. (2005) Survival probability estimates for large juvenile and adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) exposed to an artisanal marine turtle fishery in the Western Caribbean. Herpetologica, 61, 91103.
Caro, T., Engilis, A. Jr, Fitzherbert, E. & Gardner, T. (2004) Preliminary assessment of the flagship species concept at a small scale. Animal Conservation, 7, 6370.
Carrillo, E., Morera, R.A. & Wong, G. (1994) Depredación de tortuga lora (Lepidochelys olivacea) y de tortuga verde (Chelonia mydas) por el jaguar (Panthera onca). Vida Silvestre Neotropical, 3, 4849.
Caso, A., Lopez-Gonzalez, C., Payan, E., Eizirik, E., de Oliveira, T., Leite-Pitman, R. et al. (2008) Panthera onca. In IUCN Red List of Threatened Species v. 2011.2. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 2 February 2012].
Ceballos, G., Chávez, C., Rivera, A., Manterola, C. & Wall, B. (2002) Tamano poblacional y conservación del jaguar en la reserva de la biosfera Calakmul, Campeche, México. Fondo de cultura económica, UNAM, Mexico DF, México.
Chinchilla, F.A. (1997) La dieta del jaguar (Panthera onca), el puma (Felis concolor) y el manigordo (Felis pardalis) en el Parque Nacional Corcovado, Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 45, 12231229.
Coonan, T.J., Schwemm, C.A., Roemer, G.W., Garcelon, D.K. & Munson, L. (2005) Decline of an island fox subspecies to near extinction. Southwestern Naturalist, 50, 3241.
de Haro, A. & Harrison, E. (2006) Report del Programa de Tortuga Verde 2007. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
de Haro, A. & Troëng, S. (2005) Report on the 2005 Green Turtle Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
Eckert, K.L. & Hemphill, A.H. (2005) Sea turtles as flagships for protection of the wider Caribbean region. Maritime Studies, 3, 119143.
Engeman, R.M., Martin, R.E., Smith, H.T., Woolard, J., Crady, C.K., Shwiff, S.A. et al. (2005) Dramatic reduction in predation on marine turtle nests through improved predator monitoring and management. Oryx, 39, 318326.
Fowler, L. (1979) Hatching success and nest predation in the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Ecology, 60, 946955.
Garla, R., Setz, E. & Gobbi, N. (2001) Jaguar (Panthera onca) food habits in Atlantic rainforest of southeastern Brazil. Biotropica, 33, 691696.
Gibson, L. (2006) The role of lethal control in managing the effects of apparent competition on endangered prey species. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 34, 12201224.
Godfrey, M.H. & Godley, B.J. (2008) Seeing past the red: flawed IUCN global listings for sea turtles. Endangered Species Research, 6, 155159.
Heithaus, M.R., Wirsing, A.J., Thomson, J.A. & Burkholder, D.A. (2008) A review of lethal and non-lethal effects of predators on adult marine turtles. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 356, 4351.
IUCN (2011) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species v. 2011.2. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 2 February 2012].
Lal, A., Arthur, R., Marbà, N., Lill, A.W.T. & Alcoverro, T. (2010) Implications of conserving an ecosystem modifier: increasing green turtle (Chelonia mydas) densities substantially alters seagrass meadows. Biological Conservation, 143, 27302738.
Nolasco, D., Debade, X. & Harrison, E. (2007) Report on the 2007 Green Turtle Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
Opay, P. (1998) Hunting green turtles at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Oryx, 32, 1012.
Ortiz, R.M., Plotkin, P.T. & Owens, D.W. (1997) Predation upon olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) by the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) at Playa Nancite, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 2, 585587.
Polisar, J., Maxit, I., Scognamillo, D., Farrell, L., Sunquist, M. & Eisenberg, J. (2003) Jaguars, pumas, their prey base, and cattle ranching: ecological interpretations of a management problem. Biological Conservation, 109, 297310.
Pudyatmoko, S., Djuwantoko, & Sabarno, Y. (2007) Evidence of banteng (Bos javanicus) decline in Baluran National Park, Indonesia. Journal of Biological Sciences, 7, 854859.
Salom-Pérez, R. (2005) Ecologia del jaguar (Panthera onca) y del manigordo (Leopardus pardalis) (Carnivora: Felidae) en el Parque Nacional Corcovado, Costa Rica. MSc thesis, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.
Salom-Pérez, R., Carrillo, E., Sáenz, J.C. & Mora, J.M. (2007) Critical condition of the jaguar Panthera onca population in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Oryx, 41, 5156.
Sanderson, E.W., Chetkiewicz, C.L.B., Medellin, R.A., Rabinowitz, A., Redford, K.H., Robinson, J.G. & Taber, A. (2002) Prioridades geográficas para la conservación del jaguar. Fondo de cultura económica, UNAM, Mexico DF, México.
Seminoff, J.A. & Shanker, K. (2008) Marine turtles and IUCN Red Listing: a review of the process, the pitfalls, and novel assessment approaches. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 356, 5268.
Simberloff, D. (1998) Flagships, umbrellas, and keystones: is single-species management passé in the landscape era? Biological Conservation, 83, 247257.
Smith, R.J., Veríssimo, D. & MacMillan, D.C. (2011) Marketing and conservation: how to lose friends and influence people. In Trade-Offs in Conservation: Deciding What to Save (eds Leader-Williams, N., Adams, W. & Smith, R.), pp. 215232. Wiley–Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
Taber, A., Novaro, A., Neris, N. & Colman, F. (1997) The food habits of sympatric jaguar and puma in the Paraguayan chaco. Biotropica, 29, 204213.
Troëng, S. (1997) Report on the 1997 Green Turtle Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
Troëng, S. (1999) Report on the 1999 Green Turtle Program at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Caribbean Conservation Corporation, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
Troëng, S. (2000) Predation of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles by jaguars (Panthera onca) at Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 3, 751753.
Troëng, S., Chacon, D. & Dick, B. (2004) Possible decline in leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nesting along the coast of Caribbean Central America. Oryx, 38, 395403.
Troëng, S., Dutton, P.H. & Evans, D. (2005) Migration of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata from Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Ecography, 28, 394402.
Troëng, S. & Rankin, E. (2005) Long-term conservation efforts contribute to positive green turtle Chelonia mydas nesting trend at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Biological Conservation, 121, 111116.
Veríssimo, D., Fraser, I., Groombridge, J., Bristol, R. & MacMillan, D.C. (2009) Birds as tourism flagship species: a case study of tropical islands. Animal Conservation, 12, 549558.
Veríssimo, D., MacMillan, D.C. & Smith, R.J. (2011) Toward a systematic approach for identifying conservation flagships. Conservation Letters, 4, 18.
Zeller, K. (2007) Jaguars in the New Millennium Data Set Update: The State of the Jaguar in 2006. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed