Estimating Anthropogenic Influences on Species Occupancy at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Innovation & Design


Human-Environment Systems

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Neil Carter


The global network of nature reserves is intended to be refuges for wildlife species around the world. However, nature reserves are experiencing increasing amounts of human visitation each year, and it is critical to investigate how this influx in disturbance is influencing the space use, abundance, and richness of wildlife species in those reserves. We used camera trap data collected at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, to understand how the presence of humans and other environmental factors are influencing the presence and distribution of various wildlife species. We deployed 9 cameras, in three blocks, on 9 different trails and accumulated 208 active camera nights in 2018. A total of 9,692 photos were obtained of 17 different animal species. We hypothesize that the occupancy rate of species will be primarily influenced by human presence on trails within the reserve. The most commonly detected species were Collared Peccaries (Pecari tajacu) with 0.837 average detections per day, Central American Agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata) with 0.409 average detections per day, and Great Curassows (Crax rubra) with 0.173 average detections per day across all camera sites. I will use the package “unmarked” in the program R to determine the influence of humans on species occupancy and richness.

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