Influence of sea turtle nesting on hunting behavior and movements of jaguars in the dry forest of northwest Costa Rica


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Bibliographic Details
Authors: Carrillo, Eduardo, Montalvo, Victor, Fuller, Todd K., Sáenz-Bolaños, Carolina, Cruz Díaz, Juan Carlos, Hagnauer, Isabel, Herrera, Hansell
Format: artículo
Publication Date:2020
Description:Jaguars (Panthera onca) are opportunistic predators that prey on large profitable prey items, such as sea turtles at nesting beaches. Here, we use jaguar and sea turtle trackcount surveys, combined with satellite telemetry of one jaguar, to evaluate whether jaguar hunting behavior and movements are influenced by seasonal sea turtle nesting in the Sector Santa Rosa of Área de Conservación Guanacaste in northwest Costa Rica. We used generalized linear models to evaluate the effect of moon phase and sea surface temperature on olive ridley (Lepidochelis olivacea) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting abundance, as well as the combination of these predictors on the frequency of jaguar predation activity (proximity to nesting beaches) and movements. For home-range size and location analyses, we calculated kernel density estimates for each season at three different temporal scales. Sea turtle nesting season influenced jaguar activity patterns, as well as sea turtle abundance was related to jaguar locations and predation events, but jaguar home-range size (88.8 km2 overall) did not differ between nesting seasons or among temporal scales. Environmental conditions influenced sea turtle nesting and, as a consequence, also influenced jaguar movements and foraging activity. Our study defined the home range of a female jaguar in the tropical dry forest and its relationship to seasonally abundant turtles. Additional information related to the effect of tourism on jaguar–sea turtle interactions would improve conservation of these species at unique nesting beaches in the area.
Country:Repositorio UNA
Institution:Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Repositorio:Repositorio UNA
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Access Level:acceso abierto