In the last 70 years, the earth’s wild animal populations have declined by half.
Protection is urgent. The expansion of human activity has left little for the rest of the living world. We must reduce our impact.
In Nosara, and across Guanacaste, the fallout from rapid, uncontrolled growth is decimating our local wildlife. We can continue to destroy, or we can cherish and protect. The choice is ours.
In one year over 7,000 animals lost their lives to horrific electrocutions on power lines, according to data from the Guide for the Prevention and Mitigation of Electrocution of Wild Fauna by Power Lines in Costa Rica 2020 from the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía de Costa Rica (MINAE). These numbers only cover the reported cases. Unreported and rural cases make the real number much higher.
As more land is developed for housing and commercial use, more transformers and power lines are being installed. These sit exactly at canopy level, and to unknowing arboreal wildlife provide a useful pathway between trees. There is no law requiring insulation of new power lines and transformers, meaning wildlife using these wires as a pathway are suffering horrific electrocutions.
Power lines of 40,000 volts are being installed without sufficient insulation. There is no government mandate requiring insulation to be installed on power lines despite its devastating result. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that power lines and transformers are insulated when installed for your property, and to cover the cost of this. The best option is to have transformers buried underground or placed inside a protective container, which completely removes the risk of electrocution.
Regularly pay for trees to be professionally trimmed away from power lines and transformers. This must be done regularly to prevent arboreal wildlife using these lethal lines as a pathway, especially for popular foraging trees like mango trees. Please never attempt this on your own as you could be at risk of electrocution. We recommend using Jorge Espinoza: +506 8311 0104
Contact organizations like Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary and donate to have monkey bridges installed in areas with high risk of electrocutions. For monkey bridge inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem begins with rapid development fragmenting the natural habitat of wildlife. The trees that wildlife depend on for shelter, food and passage are being eliminated to make way for new homes and developments. Without arboreal corridors to provide safe passage to continue their foraging, they are forced to find other routes. Often the only option is to cross over power lines or on the ground. This leaves them vulnerable to electrocutions, dog attacks and vehicle strikes.
KEEP TREE CORRIDORS
When purchasing a property, before removing any trees first spend some time observing the local wildlife. If you remove trees that are being used regularly by arboreal wildlife as a pathway through the jungle you are forcing them to use more dangerous routes and risking exposing them to electrocution, vehicle strikes and dog attacks.
AVOID CLEAR CUTTING
Maintain a good ratio of jungle to the square footage of construction space on your property. When all trees are removed from a property not only does it increase flood risk for the homeowners but it also further reduces the natural habitat of Costa Rica’s precious wildlife.
REDUCE NOISE/LIGHT POLLUTION
Unnatural lights and noise will cause wildlife to be disorientated and can result in injury. Avoid this by being conscious of the lighting used on your property. When entertaining please be respectful of the volume of your music especially when using speakers. Ensure all of your vehicles have adequate mufflers. Respect the natural, peaceful rhythm of the jungle and its inhabitants.
Increased human population also results in an increased number of domestic pets. Free roaming dogs regularly attack and kill wildlife.
LEASH ON WALKS
Always keep your dog leashed on walks. Ground-dwelling wildlife like raccoons, coatis, possums, porcupines, foxes, armadillos, iguanas and many more are regularly victims of brutal dog attacks. This can also result in dogs sustaining serious injury.
RESPECT REFUGE LAWS
The Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica was created in 1984 to protect one of the world’s most important nesting sites of the olive ridley sea turtle. This refuge also includes Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones. In these areas it is illegal to walk your dog on the beach, however free roaming dogs still frequently attack and kill sea turtles and other wildlife.
CONTAIN INSIDE YOUR HOUSE OR YARD
Avoid letting your dogs roam free and keep them contained inside your house or yard. This prevents them from killing wild animals, and protects your house from theft.
As more paved roads fragment jungle habitats wildlife are forced to cross roads, leaving them vulnerable to fast moving vehicles. Hundreds of animals like this Ocelot are struck and killed by vehicles each year.
DRIVE UNDER 40KPH
The speed limit throughout Nosara is 40kph. With the completion of the paved road on route 160 through Nosara, people are speeding and vehicle strikes are becoming more common. Please respect the speed limit when driving.
WATCH FOR WILDLIFE
Ensure you are watching carefully for wildlife approaching the road as they may need to cross to the other side.