A biological corridor is a stretch of forest that acts as a bridge to join larger areas of vegetation, such as Portobello and Chagres National Parksand that during a long period of time it was possible to record the passage or presence of many wild species, which speaks well of the biodiversity that still lives in the forests of Panama, notes the biologist Rafael Samudio, Director of Somapsa.
Samudio and his team of scientists have been studying the upper Chagres biological corridor since 2017, backed by photographs from about 80 motion-sensitive cameras, distributed throughout the biological corridor.
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Using this system, the scientists recorded the passage of four different species of tigers, pumas and their young, ocelots, ocelots, several jaguarundi or Congo ocelots, dogs and wild boars, spiders, rabbits, armadillos, deer, tapirs, and giant anteaters, among others.
“ The biological corridor that runs from Santa Rita to the Sierra Lelorona operates and allows movement of terrestrial mammals such as big cats and their prey and rare, hard-to-observe mammals.‘,” says Samudio, while highlighting the recovery process that the area appears to be undergoing in the face of human pressure, much more so if one takes into account that this biological corridor is on private property and, therefore, is not a nature reserve areas.
In the Darien Preserve, Samudio continues, conducting a similar study that counted 30 species of mammals. In other words, the health of the natural areas of Portobello and Chagres is very good, despite the activity of farms, deforestation and the construction of works such as highways. “ This information demonstrates that the biological pathway must be conserved, as animals use and depend on it. You must not interfere, you must not be disturbedSamudio summarizes.
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The biologist notes that the existence of this flow, displacement, or connection between species living in different nature reserves is also good news from the perspective of the species’ genetic richness. Julita Carrion, Somapsa Project Supervisor.
“ Genetic diversity is a protection against changes in the environment, because the more restricted the genes, the animals will not be able to express a good adaptation, and if they cannot adapt, they will disappear. Nature reserves are not isolated from each other, but there is a connection and genetic exchange between their inhabitants thanks to the biological corridor‘ confirms the specialist.
This research project will advance with the publication of relevant scientific manuscripts, and then, it will be expanded with the study of other groups of mammalian fauna, such as arboreal or flying animals, and thus learn in more detail the number of animals that depend on the biological corridors of Chagres altitude.