The upper Mamoní and the primary upland forests of the Kuna Yala are some of the best bird watching locations in the world. Boasting an incredible diversity of some of the most elusive specimens, the area is the perfect setting for a research base camp. This has opened up several opportunities for exciting scientific collaborations.
Lindell Lab at Michigan State University
Tropical rainforests are the most diverse terrestrial ecosystems, yet scientists are only beginning to understand how their great diversity affects species interactions that are important to ecosystem structure and functioning. In collaboration with Earth Train, Dr. Catherine Lindell of Michigan State University is initiating a project to investigate how plant diversity influences interactions between plants, insects that eat plants, and birds that eat insects, as well as between plants and the birds that disperse their seeds.
Dr. Lindell is working closely with Earth Train Forestry Director Emilio Mariscal toward two complimentary goals: 1) forest restoration of the severely degraded pasture lands of the Mamoní Valley and 2) investigation of the interactions described above in the areas undergoing restoration. The project is exciting because we will be taking advantage of the important work of restoration to answer basic scientific questions about the value of tropical diversity.
We will collect pre-restoration data on insects and birds in 2010 and then plant 1/2 hectare plots with different numbers of plant species. In the succeeding years we will monitor the growth of the plants and the types and numbers of insects and birds using the plots. Local residents of the Mamoní Valley, as well as students from Panama and the U.S., will be involved in the project. For more information about Dr. Lindell's work, please click here.
Point Reyes Bird Observatory
We've entered discussions with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory regarding the development of a permanent scientific research station in the Mamoní Valley Preserve. Details are developing, and we hope to be posting exciting updates periodically.
Explore Earth Train
The 10,000-acre Mamoní Valley Preserve: a world campus for education, restoration, training in biocultural restoration and conservation and sustainable development.
Check out our press section and articles authored by Earth Train founder Nathan Gray
Junglewood: The Danilo Perez Performing and Visual Arts Center in the Mamoní Valley Preserve.