Battle of the Beach – Jaguars, Turtles and Vultures, oh my!

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Thank you to our Donors, Fundraisers and Supporters!

Introduction 

The last three months have marked some of the busiest months of the year for us here at Jalova. And why is that you may ask? It’s peak green turtle season! The jaguars are patrolling, they’re on the hunt and the green turtles are fighting for a place on our beach to lay their nest. Our goal has been to make that beach a cleaner and healthier place for these creatures. Conducting 3 beach cleans across a 5 mile stretch of beach helped to maximise our impact on these animal populations, keeping their beach healthy to allow their natural way of life to flourish.

Report

With the Turtle and Jaguar projects in full swing these past three months, our daily routine has consisted of turtle night and morning patrols alongside weekly long-distance jaguar partols. This means that collectively we have walked approximately 800 miles along our beach during this time. In collaboration with the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), we worked nearly 300 adult female green turtles and marked the location of over 100 nests on our beach. A good season for our green turtles and high numbers of volunteers with us on base meant we were able to achieve the best turtle season for us here at Jalova so far! An excellent jaguar season was not far behind, with over 50 temporary cameras set up for our jaguar partners, Coastal Jaguar Conservation (CJC). This means we were able to collect over 100,000 videos in footage for them during this period! Granted the star of these videos was our local Black Vulture population, but the Jaguars showed their faces, leaving everyone on base excited for more! These videos could not have been collected without the support of everyone from the GVI Trust. The cameras we use can only be purchased with the help of Charitable Funds! We cannot thank all the donors and supporters enough for their support, this footage is a direct result of your continued generosity!

This beach marks the crossover point between SDG 14, life below water, and SDG 15, life on land, so we have done everything in our power in order to protect it. A key role that you, our donors and supporters, can play, is supporting our efforts to keep this place clean and healthy! The people of Jalova embarked on a mission during this quarter – to clean this beach of as much plastic as possible! The strong currents of our Carribean sea means that large quantities of plastic accumulate along our shores. So we held not one but FOUR beach cleans along our coast line, focusing on areas of large build up and areas never cleaned before to collect over 200KG of trash! The impact of a clean this large was something that left the people of Jalova in awe. No more plastic for our baby turtles to climb over, no more bottles getting stuck in the egg chambers of our nesting females, the only downside is that our work here is never done!

If the beach is not for you, never fear! The forest is alive with wildlife of all sizes, from the smallest little Tink Frog to the largest breathtaking Tapir, we’ve seen it all! We’ve witnessed Sloths tangling high up in the treetops, we’ve watched Kingfishers fish in the cool waters of our rivers and we stood in awe of Howler Monkeys as they yell into the morning as they rest in the trees right here on our base!

Living within this beautifully humid rainforest means the challenges we face are unique to our location. Technology does not live as happily as we do within this environment, so maintaining it’s upkeep is crucial for our communication and scientific data needs. The monitoring of this habitat is crucial for the survival and maintenance of the national park, which cannot be done without our bi-annual scientific reports and communications with our partners. We need your help to keep our cameras rolling and laptops buzzing!

Summary

We’ve provided our turtles with a clean haven in which to nest, we’ve collected thousands of videos and measured hundreds of turtles to better protect the sensitive Jaguar and Turtle populations, and we’ve traced through the depths of the jungle to protect the rich biodiversity Tortuguero National Park is famous for. We could not have achieved so much without the support of the GVI Trust donors and supporters! The team at Jalova is indebted to your constant generosity and will continue to adore the devotion you show us for as long as you remain by our side!

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