Jaguar predation on sea turtles

Our project has been studying the interaction between jaguars and sea turtles in Tortuguero National Park since 2011. Over this time we have observed that jaguars annually predated between 2-4% of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting population of Tortuguero. This information allows us to determine that jaguars are not a threat to the species in this area.

Three other species of sea turtle nest in Tortuguero: the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the loggerhead (Caretta caretta). Based on our research, we concluded that jaguars are not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. As for the loggerhead, it is difficult to ascertain the effect of jaguar predation on the local nesting population. Therefore, it is important to continuously monitor and evaluate this predator-prey relationship in order to understand how it will evolve in the future.