Tortuguero Closes 2km of Park to Protect Jaguar Habitat

Two kilometers of the Tortuguero Conservation Area (ACTO), which is part of the Jalova sector, where it was open to the public, has been closed since March 1 of this year, in order to protect the habitat of the jaguar, a species in danger of extinction.

The measure, established in resolution SINAC-ACTo-D-RES-017-2017, involves the indefinite closure of the area between the Jalova Trail, two kilometers north of Laguna Jalova (beach and parallel path).

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However, this does not mean that this sector of the park has been completely closed, as tourists will have eight kilometers of beach where they will be able to observe spawning of the turtles when it is a season, explained Laura Rivera, Act.

“It is a sector where we already have scientific evidence that the jaguar is moving around … We want to avoid that there is human presence in that area, to alter as little as possible to the species and that they have that area free to look for food, movement or mating, “Rivera said.

Restricting access to Jalova aims to avoid risky situations for both cats and humans. For example, let jaguars try to defend their offspring or the prey from which they are feeding (sea turtles).

It also wants to prevent jaguars from losing their fear of people and becoming accustomed to human presence, or tourists behave inappropriately in the presence of these animals as if they want to pursue them to take photos.

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The National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac) said in a press release that the measure is not intended to encourage fear of felines, but rather “raise public awareness of the need to be cautious in those natural spaces designed to protect life Wild in danger of extinction, where also the tourist visitation “.

According to Rivera, the jaguar is a species “thermometer” of the health status of the ecosystem. “If we lose this feline in Tortuguero we will be losing the entire food chain that is associated with this species as such. We will also have an impact on present and future generations: they will not know that a jaguar existed unless someone told them.”