12 Apr

The Jaguars and Turtles of Tortuguero


Recently, a journalist from the Global Post visited Costa Rica's Tortuguero National Park, situated in the northeast Caribbean, to report on the fascinating findings of a jaguar research study carried out by Panthera grantee and National University of Costa Rica student, Stephanny Arroyo. Supported by Panthera and Global Vision International, Arroyo used camera traps to study local jaguars' eating habits and other behavior, and in the process, found that the jaguars in this particular region engaged in atypically social behavior, including eating, travelling and playing together. Interestingly, Arroyo and other scientists believe that this rare behavior may be the result of Tortuguero's abundant turtle population, which is thought to have largely removed local jaguars' competition for food.

As Arroyo explained to the Global Post, “I was certain that Tortuguero was special for something. The behavior [of the jaguars] is unique and the quantity of individuals in such a small area is also unique. For example, to see two males walking together or three males walking together is something that has never been seen before."

Through the study, Arroyo identified 16 individual jaguars sharing just 100 square miles of territory.

Read Global Post's article to learn more about this study and the jaguars and turtles of Tortuguero.

Watch a video, courtesy of Global Vision International, of a jaguar eating a sea turtle in Tortuguero National Park.

Read Panthera's press release below to learn about the critical jaguar conservation agreement between Panthera and the government of Costa Rica.