Esther Pomareda García, Vías Amigables con la Vida Silvestre
Esther Pomareda García is the biologist regent of the Las Pumas Rescue Shelter in Guanacaste, which receives animals impacted by cars. Esther has developed research on road ecology since 2008, and support students developing thesis on this theme. Also has promoted the application of environmental measures, government policy to improve the wildlife friendly roads in the country.
The Group Vias Amigables con la Vida Silvestre, aims to contribute in public policies for the implementation of environmental measures for wildlife on the road network in Costa Rica. Our mission is the scientific support to decision makers for the implementation of the measures to minimize on the wildlife. We have supported students on research, given talks for education, among other actions.
Esmeralda Arevalo Huezo, Universidad Latina
Esmeralda Arevalo Huezo is a field biologist, with experience in the management and conservation of Costa Rican wildlife. She has been working on the theme of road ecology for 5 years now, supporting thesis students and generating government strategies like the Guia Ambiental: Vias Amigables con la Vida Silvestre (one of the authors) so that the country's roads are friendly with wild animals. She works since 2014 as a professor at the Ulatina University, where she teaches wildlife management course, zoology and Tropical Ecology.
Daniela Araya Gamboa, Panthera Costa Rica
Daniela Araya Gamboa has over 9 years of experience working on jaguar conservation in the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, focused on road ecology, especially involved in mitigation measures for wildcat´s populations. Also have experience coordinating biological corridor council with local actors and stake holders, supporting local sustainable development projects, camera trap surveys for jaguars, surveying rivers as mini-biological corridors. She participate in other projects such as: genetic surveys and ranchers outreach and mitigation related to cat-cattle conflict.
In existing routes, even though some of them present mortality of wild animals, mitigation measures for the fauna have not yet been implemented. This is mainly due to the lack of a mechanism for Conservacion Vial of the Ministry of Transportation, who is in charge of the works on existing routes, to implement the measures for wildlife. The present project aims to be the first attempt of the implementation of this mechanism. The field trip will let the attendees to go through the identification of the environmental measures to mitigate the impact of this routes (44km) in the wildlife present near the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. It will include road surveys, monitoring with camera traps, interviews and identification of structural connectivity. As results 11 Environmentally Fragile Areas were identified, and 155 Vulnerable Wildlife to Road Impact as oncilla, jaguar, puma, spider monkey and red-bellied frog (Craugastor escoses). Other results, were 420 wild animals recorded on the roads, 49 species appeared such as deer, margay, howler monkeys, olingos, kinkajou, vulture armadillo, great curassow and paca were identified with the camera traps on the margins of the routes. In addition, with the cameras 11 ocelot individuals of were identified and a male frequently crossing under a bridge. Nineteen structural connectivity points or forest fringes that are crossed by the routes were evidenced. In all the routes, no natural canopy connectivity point was found. The communities contributed to the list of species through their local knowledge and the private company supported the logistics of the field trips. By overlapping the sources of information, the sites with the highest probability of crossing the fauna were identified, these points were validated in the field to recommend measures to reduce the impact of the roads. One of the main products of this study is the proposal of the design, location and quantity of measures for arboreal species, terrestrial mammals, amphibians and reptiles and flying species. Measures such as adaptation of drains, overpasses, underpasses, speed bumps, adaptation of bridges, traffic signs for the crossing of fauna and tree regeneration for the recovery of connectivity were identified for 43 sites. Also, the project includes the trapping of an ocelot and monitoring with radiocollar its movements, which used 2 of the sites identified as wildlife crossing in the study. During the field trip, attendees will be able to visit see some of these sites. This project was submitted for validation by Ministry of Environment, so the SINAC will request the implement of measures on Route 140 and 708 to Conservación Vial. In this way, the mechanism for the implementation of measures on existing routes will be activated and new opportunities to implement measures will be opened for other routes that are impacting wildlife in Costa Rica.
Topic Area: Mainstreaming ecology in transportation planning and program delivery
Keywords: monitoring, environmental measures, wildlife, existing routes