Sunday, June 5, 2011

BBC at GVI Costa Rica

It’s not often that a major corporation shows an interest in a project that you are running, nor that one of the world’s leaders in wildlife film making runs a trip to Costa Rica. But recently the GVI Jalova team had a date with a woman who holds the position that would be most people’s ideal job…

Week 7 saw Laura and Julio of the BBC Natural History Unit perform a recce to Tortuguero National Park. Their aim was to find out more information about the predation of turtles by jaguars and the possibility of being able to record this act happening, right where we work. (photo: jaguar preying on green turtle)

Seeing as we are insiders in the world of turtle deaths, Laura and Julio paid a visit to GVI’s research station to get to grips with the logistical problems they might face when it came to filming. Also on the agenda were more details on the habits of jaguars in the area and trends we can fathom from our long running ‘Jag Walk’ project. Field Coordinator Rich and ‘Jag Walk’ project manager Molly talked extensively with the pair, discussing how they would go about it if they were to do it themselves. Volunteers listened in, mostly aghast with the technology at the BBC’s fingertips but also the stories the film producer could tell.

The BBC have a lot of very exciting new equipment in their arsenal. They have got hold of the latest in night filming cameras, using just moonlight to be able to film over hundreds of metres. Also a camera that uses both heat and infra-red light to be able to pick up motion up to 12 miles away! This capability really brings the potential to film a turtle being killed by a jaguar for the first time.

This is all part of the BBC’s next expedition series, currently called ‘The Dark’. They aim to film nocturnal phenomena from all over the Americas that have never been captured before, and possibly scare a few people in the process! Research is in full swing at the moment and we hope that later this year we could see the return of the BBC to actually make this happen! It would be great to get the word out to the world about this keystone species in Tortuguero!