Biodiversity

“It might seem that protecting biodiversity is not a profitable business. Few people are aware that raw materials come from biodiversity, and it is necessary to protect it to ensure production and maintain the balance of the economy".
Dr. José Manuel Mora
Director of CZB

Zamorano Biodiversity Center:
Zamorano – a leader in conservation of the region’s natural resources and species

Central America is one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity in the world. During recent centuries this biodiversity has been seriously affected by human activities and the expansion of the agricultural frontier. This has been caused by five main causes: habitat destruction, fragmentation, pollution, over exploitation of species and the introduction of exotic species.

In order to monitor and evaluate the biodiversity in Central America, as well as to promote regional initiatives targeted at protecting ecosystems and species, in 2005 Zamorano created the Biodiversity Center, which has become a regional leader in the field of biodiversity.

The Biodiversity Center houses the Regional Biodiversity Institute (IRBIO, Spanish acronym), which was founded by the countries of the Central American Isthmus and represents for Zamorano an important and motivating challenge to promote research, education, conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity in the region.

Biodiversity Center: a leader in promoting species conservation

In the area of research the Biodiversity Center has supported scientific expeditions led by researchers from renowned universities in the fields of ornithology, herpetofauna, entomology, ictiofauna, connectivity structures of coral, monitoring of jaguars and genetic studies of crocodiles.

In recent years the Biodiversity Center has also carried out noteworthy activities, such as a Global Mammal Assessment for Central America and the Caribbean. It was also the venue for the Mesoamerican Amphibian Congress and held two workshops on models of the impact of human activity and climate change on regional biodiversity and protected areas. It also carried out a mapping of jaguar movements in Honduras and the discovery of new species like the blind serpent. The Center also formed part of a team that discovered a second population of the Honduran Emerald Humming Bird (Amazilia luciae) in the department of Santa Barbara. This humming bird is unique to Honduras and the species is threatened with extinction.

More recently the Biodiversity Center concluded a project of Monitoring the Fonseca Gulf, which involved an evaluation of the fishing resources in the gulf, which is shared by Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. This project was carried out jointly with the Utila Center for Marine Ecology and financed by the Central American Commission on the Environment and Development (CCAD, Spanish acronym) and by the National Parks of Spain.

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