Advancing towards sustainability, Zamorano inaugurates Phase II of its Solar Park
12 March, 2021
Food and nutrition security course with participants from indigenously influenced areas and from northern Honduras
24 March, 2021

Zamorano´s Biodiversity Center generates a record number of scientific publications

Thousands of reports were generated from the Biodiversity Center at Zamorano (CZB), of which 8,074 were for biodiversity monitoring projects within Zamorano´s properties.

Partners of Zamorano´s Biodiversity Center (CZB) reached a record number of scientific publications in refereed journals in 2020. Faculty members and research associates, along with their students, produced a total of 17 publications. The information includes descriptions of a new species of serpent at the “Refugio de Vida Silvestre Barras de Cuero y Salado” on the Atlantic Coast, as well as descriptions of a one-of-a-kind in the world unique frog (Hypopachus guancasco sp. nov.). in the highlands of the Honduran Lenca region, Intibucá and La Paz departments.

New serpent species “centipede eater” (Tantilla lydia sp. nov. (UVS-V 1189. Photo by Cristopher Antúnez-Fonseca. Modified of Antúnez-Fonseca et al. (2020).

Endemic frog (Hypopachus guancasco sp. nov.). This frog was named in honor of the Guancasco festival which takes place in Lenca communities from southeast Honduras. Left: dorsolateral view (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/25575 ); right: ventral coloring. Photos by Josiah Townsend. Modified from Firneno et al. (2020).

New records were also published of flora, as well as the data distribution of different groups including serpents, ferns, and butterflies. In addition, there was the discovery and documentation of a new species of bird in Honduras located in Golfo de Fonseca. Separately, in order to contribute knowledge and strategy designs for land usage, a study on the interactions between multiple ecosystems was presented.

Adult of western seagull, Larus occidentalis, at the Las Aguas estuary in Choluteca, Honduras. This observation represents the third registration of the species for Central America. Modified from van Dort (2020)

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Rina Diaz and Dr. Oliver Komar from CBZ of Zamorano’s Environmental Science and Development Department prepared eight manuscripts and submitted them to scientific journals. They are anticipating publication this year. Manuscripts such as these were sent to five journals level Q1 to Q3. These indicators show the potential impact of these publications on their field of study. Botany issues are addressed, new serpents are registered, and in addition there is a description of a new species of salamanders (amphibians) along with a study of molecular wasps.

One of the more important contributors to scientific production of Zamorano during 2020 was visiting professor, Dr. Josiah Townsend, who came to Zamorano on a Fullbright scholarship in 2019. Dr. Townsend is an Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) professor, who during the COVID-19 pandemic has remained in Honduras collaborating with his extensive research program in systematics and the biogeography of Honduran amphibians and reptiles.

CZB collaborators actively participated in citizen science platforms and generated thousands of reports during 2020. 8,074 of these reports were for biodiversity monitoring projects inside Zamorano. These reports are available for viewing on the internet (Biodiversidad Zamorano (2020) and many of them will be shared on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) portal once they are validated by the platforms´ reviewers.

The entire Zamorano community is invited to collaborate with these citizen science projects. For more information please contact Dr. Oliver Komar, Zamorano Biodiversity Center Director at okomar@zamorano.edu

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