osa-peninsula

flickr

Rough toothed dolphins, Costa Rica by Joost van Uffelen
Via Flickr:
These images, which include an encounter with a huge whaleshark were taken far offshore off Costa Rica close to an illegal fishing device (FAD). This Fish Aggregation Device was a raftlike structure manufactured to attract as much sealife as possible, but mainly spawning tuna. Purse sein fisheries scoop up all life that has accumulated around the raft with their massive nets. Any bycatch from small fish to this huge whaleshark, dolphins and even seaturtles are killed in the process. That is why these FAD’s are illegal. They are however used widely in the pacific to feed our tuna riddled dishes..

We use two different methods to learn about the wild cats and their prey: (1) track surveys and (2) camera traps.

We walk the trails once a month looking for and identifying tracks. From the tracks, we know which species are present and can easily compare them with other locations, different seasons and different years. It is the most reliable, cheapest, and oldest method ever used for studying mammals. 

The camera traps are set up in places with high probability of presence of these species. They are triggered by a motion sensor, so every time an animal passes by we have photographic evidence of them that we can later use to learn about the population trends of the different species. These images are especially important for the estimation of the density of spotted cats, as they have distinctive patterns among them.