- Smithsonian Panama
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) today asked to protect a paradise and uninhabited island of the Panamanian Pacific from the growing tourist development and turn it into a refuge for wildlife.
The scientific center has just begun a study on birds on Bona island, located in the Pacific very close to the Panama Canal, in an attempt to promote its preservation because "it is a nesting and breeding site little studied for thousands of tropical seabirds.
The islet is only 10 nautical miles from the popular tourist Taboga island and "faces development pressures when it could be an ideal attraction for the growing ecotourism industry in Panama," the institute said in a statement.
"If we gather enough valuable data on birds, and work with preservation groups, we can go to the Ministry of the Environment with a proposal to create a Wildlife Refuge," said marine biologist Héctor Guzmán.
The study focuses on the genetics of populations, bird-fishermen interaction and the impact of plastics, explained the Smithsonian, which uses drones to estimate bird populations.
The Smithsonian is a recognized research center that depends on the US Government and whose headquarters for Latin America is located in Panama.