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February 4/ 2003
- Press Releases
Honduras Invites Scientist to Study its Impressive Bio-diversity

To compliment the world-class scientific research in the area of Maya archaeology that prestigious international universities have conducted for decades at the famous Copan Ruins, Honduras is eagerly seeking to attract researchers in the biological sciences to study the country’s rich natural diversity. High, pristine cloud forests, vast tropical rain forest, teeming wetlands and some of the Caribbean’s richest coral reefs make Honduras one of the most biologically diverse, if least known, Central American states.
A new project sponsored by the Honduras Institute of Tourism will target major US and foreign universities in its quest to promote scientific research and tourism in many of its priority protected areas.

The goals of the project include broadening the base scientific knowledge about Honduras’ diverse ecosystems, flora, and fauna. Yet other important benefits will come indirectly from this research, such as word of mouth promotion throughout the scientific community, which officials hope will amount to an implicit certification of the quality of Honduras’ natural attractions. This kind of promotion fits well with the country’s goal of attracting the kind of intelligent, conservation-minded tourist that appreciate the value and beauty of Honduras’ tropical biodiversity.

Initially, Project Director Vince Murphy will visit a variety of wetland and the rain forest protected areas on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, including Jeannette Kawas and Punta Izopo National Parks and the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens near the former beachside banana town of Tela; Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and Pico Bonito National Park near the ecotourism hub of La Ceiba; and Capiro y Calentura National Park and the Guaimoreto Wildlife Refuge near the sleepy town of Trujillo. Also on the list of priority parks are the tropical marine coral reefs ecosystems of Honduras’ well-known Bay Islands, including the Cayos Cochinos Biological Reserve, the Sandy Bay Marine Park in Roatan and other protected reefs on the Islands of Guanaja and Utila. Based on his research, Biologist, Nature Photographer and former Honduras Peace Corps volunteer Murphy will compile profiles of the various national parks and other protected areas, as well as the NGOs that manage them. Armed with this information, Murphy will travel to major US universities to make presentations on the country’s rich natural resources and the plentiful opportunities for scientific research that exist in the areas of biological science, tropical ecology, conservation biology and nature interpretation. Murphy hopes to establish contacts between international scientist and local park managers that will lead to a variety of fruitful research collaborations, and ultimately earn for Honduran nature some well-deserved promotion.


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