Books and Manuals

El ultimo vigilante del mar

El ultimo vigilante del mar

¡Sí a la pesca sostenible!
Detrás del pescado no sólo hay peces

Perceptions, Participation and Poaching: identifying drivers behind sea turtle use in communities surrounding Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica.

Perceptions, Participation and

The aim of this study was to identify drivers underpinning sea turtle use by residents of communities surrounding
Cahuita national park on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The implications of these findings are addressed in relation
to the issue of illegal sea turtle egg removal within the national park. Members of 3 communities: Cahuita town, Hone
Creek and Playa Negra, were interviewed, face-to-face using semi-structured questionnaires (n=48) designed to
compare local human perceptions of sea turtles with differences in their use within and between communities. Factors
identified as influencing human poaching behaviour are economic drivers, perceived legitimacy, governance, personal
morals, socio-cultural norms, and awareness. In communities where income levels are variable, such as Hone Creek
and Playa Negra, economic drivers are the major influence of poaching behaviour due to reliance on illegal trade of sea
turtle eggs as a source of income. Conversely, the key behavioural drivers in Cahuita town are economic gain via the
tourism industry and social influence, resulting in compliance with regulations. Awareness of sea turtle conservation is
recognised as a key factor driving behaviour in all communities, influencing personal morals and perceived legitimacy
of regulations. Future management strategies should aim to involve local communities in sea turtle conservation as a
way to increase levels of self-compliance. Raising awareness through educational workshops in all communities
associated with the national park is recommended. These should be interactive, enabling open communication and
transparency of information between all stakeholder groups, to facilitate change and progress towards both ecological
and socio-economic sustainability.



The aim of this research was to compare marine turtle conservation methods on the
Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica at three sites: the Caribbean Conservation
Corporation site at Tortuguero and the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and
Rainforest Conservation site at Cano Palmo, and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. These
sites were selected to represent diverse approaches in the conservation movement within
Costa Rica, including American, Canadian and Costa Rican.
During the early 1900s many marine turtle populations around the world were near
extinction due to hunting. Recently factors including nesting beach destruction due to
anthropogenic use, incidental capture in fisheries, fishing practices degrading turtle
feeding grounds, as well as pollution, have all been linked to declines in marine turtle
populations. Marine turtles play a large role in the social structures of the communities
surrounding these three sites, therefore, it is important to consider conservation strategies,
ecotourism and local communities while comparing these three sites.
Data from expert and stakeholder interviews conducted during November 2006 - January
2007 are used to compare conservation strategies employed at the three turtle nesting
sites. The most effective methods are employed at Ostional Wildlife Refuge due to the
fact that this site is able to combine local community needs with ecotourism. The local
community at this site is in control of conservation and ecotourism at this site is
beginning to directly benefit the local population. This research enhances current
understanding about marine turtle conservation methods. It describes the Costa Rican
situation but has wider applicability.

Conozcamos las Tortugas Marinas de Costa Rica

Conozcamos las Tortugas Marina

La tortuga baula es la tortuga más grande en la familia de las tortugas marinas, creciendo hasta casi dos metros de largo y pesando poco más de una tonelada. El color de esta tortuga es negro y es la única tortuga que no tiene un caparazón duro. La baula es una gran navegante que viaja por miles de kilómetros y es también una experta buceadora sobrepasando los 1000 m de profundidad.

Libro de Comercio

Libro de Comercio

Diagnóstico sobre el comercio de las tortugas marinas y sus derivados en el istmo centroamericano.