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San José, Costa Rica

Montero-Cordero A.,Fundacion Keto | Lobo J.,University of Costa Rica
Journal of Cetacean Research and Management | Year: 2010

Despite the exponential increase in whalewatching activities in Costa Rica, little is known about its biological impact on resident coastal populations of dolphins in the country. Globally, this activity has brought economic benefits to the communities where it is practiced and in some cases, has played an important role in conservation of these mammals. However, when intensively practiced, this activity may significantly affect the animals, since its success depends on following cetaceans for extended periods of time. Thisstudy was conducted during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 dry seasons, to examine the biological factors associated with this activity in two areas where it is intensively practiced: Drake Bay and Caño Island. Three strip transects were followed within a high (vessel)traffic area. The pantropical spotted dolphin was studied through instant sampling, every two minutes. Sighting density of dolphins accompanied by tourist boats was greater within3km of the island compared to the average density in the whole study area. Dolphins reacted negatively to those boats that did not follow at least one of the rules of boat handling in the current existing national regulation for whalewatching guidelines. Furthermore,a logistic regression analysis showed that feeding and resting are less likely to occur in the presence of tourist boats. These two behaviours are extremely important and mishandled boats could cause the spotted dolphin to leave this area if these flaws continue. Dueto the lack of economic resources and staff from state institutions in Costa Rica, the reinforcement of the Whalewatching Executive Decree 32495 (2005) may be more efficientwith'bottom up' control, where community representatives control their own resources in conjunction with government oversight. Source

The present work describes a geomorpholopic evaluation of the Burica peninsula, during 9 days in January 2008. Coastal geomorphology, erosion and depositional zones were evaluated between punta Banco and punta El Mangle. The most important morphologies found were structural origin morphologies, represented by active tectonic deformation, produced by the Panama Fracture Zone, and the subduction of the Cocos ridge. The structural origin morphologies identified were, structural-denudational zones which dominate the study area, homocline in the south of the peninsula and structural terraces, that are observed easily between punta El Mangle and La Peña, and in punta Banco. Other morphologies were identified, such as marine, fluvial and denudational morphologies. The marine-origin morphologies include the beach, subdivided in subareas, separated due to the waves dynamic, the cliffs, that dominate the area between La Peña river and punta Banco, and the shore platforms in the area between punta El Mangle and La Pena. The denudational morphology is represented by landslides, which area present mainly in the cliffs. In the other hand, the fluvial origin morphologies, include La Pena, Penita, Cana Blanca and Coco mouths and the floodplain of La Pena river. Intense erosional, slight to moderate erosional, sedimentational, and erosion and sedimentational zones were identified, having a great importance the coastal erosion, especially observed in the central and south of the peninsula. Considering the results and the interaction of them, the main hazards found are landslides, coastal erosion and the high seismicity of the area, which should be taken into account and studied in detail for a proper planning of the rural development. © 2015, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved. Source

Cros A.,Asia Pacific Program | Venegas-Li R.,Fundacion Keto | Teoh S.J.,WorldFish | Peterson N.,Asia Pacific Program | And 2 more authors.
Coastal Management | Year: 2014

The Coral Triangle is a global priority for conservation and since the creation of the Coral Triangle Initiative in 2007 it has been a major focus for a multi-lateral conservation partnership uniting the region's six governments. The Coral Triangle (CT) Atlas was developed to provide scientists and managers with the best available data on marine resources in the Coral Triangle. Endorsed as an official supporting tool to the Coral Triangle Initiative, the CT Atlas strives to provide the most accurate information possible to track the success of the conservation efforts of the Initiative. Focusing on marine protected areas and key marine habitats, the CT Atlas tested a process to assess the quality, reliability, and accuracy of different data layers. This article describes the mechanism used to evaluate these layers and to provide accurate data. Results of the preliminary quality control process showed errors in reputable datasets, outdated and missing data, metadata gaps, and a lack of user instructions to interpret layers. It highlighted the need to challenge existing datasets and demonstrated that regional efforts could improve the data available to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation measures. The Coral Triangle Atlas is continuously being updated to be as accurate as possible for reliable analysis. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Biogeographically, the Cano Island Biological Reserve (CIBR) is of strategic importance, since it is located in the center of the Panamic Province (Costa Rica and Panama), characterized by a peak in fish species richness within the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP). Despite its importance, fish community structure around the island has not been deeply studied, and coastal fish diversity records need to be updated. The aims of the study were: 1) to describe the community structure of the reef fish community of CIBR and 2) to update the list of the coastal fish species recorded until today. For the first objective, 50 stationary fish counts were conducted at 10 locations around Cano Island, in which 79 species, belonging to 32 families, were registered. The most abundant family was Pomacentridae, and the most abundant species was Chromis atrilobata. Planktivorous and carnivorous fish were the most abundant. The existence of a relationship between coral cover and the presence of herbivorous grazers was highlighted within the analysis. Additionally, species composition was compared by site and this revealed that "El Barco" has an abundant presence of snappers. For the second objective, published fish species records were collected for the CIBR and 35 new records were added, for a total of 212 coastal fish species, which represents approximately 17% of coastal fish diversity in the TEP. This work presents a baseline for fish monitoring and mangement measures in this marine protected area. © 2015, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved. Source

Martinez-Fernandez D.,Fundacion Keto | Martinez-Fernandez D.,National University of Costa Rica | Montero-Cordero A.,Fundacion Keto | May-Collado L.,University of Costa Rica
Revista de Biologia Tropical | Year: 2011

Twenty nine cetacean species occur in Costa Rican waters but extensive research has been conducted only for three species. The latter shows there is a lack of general and local information about these mammals, even when the country, has shown a remarkable growth in whale watching activities. The increasing use of marine resources in coastal areas has also developed the need to determine the occurrence of cetaceans in areas showing high tourist presence, in order to propose sound conservation measures. In this study, environmental variables were determined and subsequently related to the presence of the species recorded, out of 166 sightings, between 2005 and 2006. The species with highest proportion of sightings were Stenella attenuata (68%), followed by Megaptera novaeangliae (13%) and Tursiops truncatus (10%). The presence of spotted dolphins is related to changes in salinity and water transparency, while that of the humpback whale was related to wave height (Beaufort scale) and water temperature. The presence of seven species of cetaceans was confirmed in two coastal areas of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, from which three are present throughout the year. Environmental variables were found related to the presence of at least two species. Source

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