Tessa Van de Pas is a new intern from HAS University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands) who will spend 20 weeks in Reserva Playa Tortuga studing the ocelots.
Tessa will use 6 cameras that are installed around the trails of the reserve, which will be 24 hours on. After checking the footage, she will be able to detect the location, when the ocelots are active and other important information that may be used in the future, among other things, in reforestation plans for the coastal area to establish Biological Corridors.
She’s checking the cameras 2 times per week, 1 at morning and 1 at night. Tessa also will study any footprints of this mammals and set the location with a GPS.
On the past the cameras from RPT have captured some footage of ocelots — a nocturnal animal that is not usually seen. Ocelots have unfortunately faced many challenges, from fur trade to habitat destruction.
According to Jack Ewig, owner of Hacienda Baru, “the size of an ocelot’s territory is extremely variable”. He quotes the book “Mammals of Costa Rica” of Mark Wainwright, that mention that the range of the territory of an ocelot can vary from 100 hectares to 3,100 hectares. Ewig thinks that the difference has to do with the abundance of prey. Ocelots eat mainly small rodents like spiny rats, although they also eat larger rodents such as tepescuintles and agoutis, as well as iguanas, small alligators, coatis, raccoons, young sainos, foxes and many more. In other words, they will eat everything they can catch and kill. It seems logical that there is a much higher density of ocelots in a tropical forest with a high level of biodiversity and an abundance of prey.