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Wildlife Diversity and Relative Abundance Among a Variety of Adjacent Protected Areas in the Northern Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica

Abstract
Protected areas are intended to achieve the long-term conservation of nature, but not all such areas are equal in their effectiveness because of their varying regulation of human activities. In Costa Rica, we assessed mammal and bird species presence and relative abundance in three protected areas in the northern Talamanca Mountains. In this humid tropical forest area, we placed camera traps in an adjacent national park, forest reserve, and indigenous territories, each with a different mix of human activities. In 10,120 trap nights, we obtained 6181 independent photos of mostly mammals (34 species other than humans) and birds (34 species). Species with greater abundance or only occurrence in the national park were mammals and birds commonly hunted outside of the park, large carnivores rarely documented in other areas, and poachers. Species found more often outside of the park were medium-sized mammals, some birds, and domestic mammals. We conclude that even in the same ecological area, varying regulations related to type of protected area have significant effects on some mammal and bird species abundances and occurrences, and thus need to be considered when assessing the overall effectiveness of protection as a conservation strategy.
Type
article
article
Date
2020-01-01
Publisher
Degree
Advisors
Rights
UMass Amherst Open Access Policy
License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/