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Monday, July 3, 2017

Scientific Tourism in Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo

For the second time in a week, Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo has received reportage in the edition 3 July, 2017 of El Nuevo Diario. Our research station is a point of participation for the protection of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, through activities in scientific research, environmental education, and conservation activities. Click on the link above and take a look!

scuba dive Nicaragua
GAIA scientist Jeffrey McCrary conducts underwater monitoring in Laguna de Apoyo. Photo Garey Knop.

How to make a center for research, conservation, and education work, we have found, is not easy. We often are in debt, but we carry on. There are plenty of gratifying moments and activities for all of us, which is why we continue. We get to help in small ways to cure nature of the ills caused by humans, through rescue of wild animals, planting and caring for trees, recycling, organizing, educating, coordinating with communities and the government, studying the issues facing the continued protection of the area, and developing policy recommendations. One of the many examples of our success is found in the long list of publications in which we have been involved.

A few areas in which we have worked are mentioned in the cited article. We were involved in getting motorboats and jet skis off the lake permanently. This has been a great advance in the protection of the nature inside the lake, and also makes for a much more pleasant and safe experience for all. Boats have meant ugly noises and danger from constant encroachment onto the spaces of swimmers. Everyone, except the few boaters, are glad they are gone. There are plenty of places to take motorboats, such as Lake Nicaragua, so all people win by the elimination of motorboats from Laguna de Apoyo.

Laguna de Apoyo
The chancho cichlid, Amphilophus chancho, is one of five fish species from Laguna de Apoyo discovered in studies coordinated by GAIA. Photo Adrianus Konings.
Our group has discovered five species of fish that are only found in Laguna de Apoyo. All of these species are descendants of the parent fish of the so-called Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus). Research coordinated by GAIA demonstrated that the five species in Laguna de Apoyo are genetically distinct from forms in all the other natural areas inhabited by the Midas cichlid.

Scuba divers can join us in monitoring activities on the fish populations in the lake. We are the only approved dive center in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, and we conduct all our activities in cooperation with the local municipal authorities, MINSA, MARENA, and INTUR.

GAIA maintains the costs of operation of Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo through visits, donations, sales of lunch and coffee, hostel stay, and training activities such as intensive Spanish courses. We hope you visit us and get to know what we do. Please come by or write us.

Click on the "escudo" to contact us.

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