By Avery Driscoll, Westminster College
Greetings from the Piro Station! We’ve spent the last week and a half here surveying for Neotropical River Otters along seven nearby rivers. Besides the work of the Round River crew over the previous two semesters, little research has been done on the Neotropical Otter in Costa Rica. Our goal is to collect all the data we can about otter habitat preference by looking at how otters use diverse river systems on the Osa Peninsula.
Collecting data on transects within the Bijagual River. Photo by Shalynn Pack.
Most days have begun bright and early with a 7am ride to each river with our favorite colectivo driver, Tuto. We survey for at least two kilometers upstream, recording data every 150 meters about variables such as river width, depth, slope, canopy cover, and the number of places an otter could scat, leave tracks, or use as escape shelter.