The 55-acre Pterocarpus swamp forest, a rare ecosystem in Puerto Rico, has an astounding level of biodiversity unknown until recently, due to limited research over the years. A 2010 study, for example, identified only 44 species of flora and 52 of fauna. Yet ongoing research by local and visiting researchers and students has revealed the presence of nearly 125 new species in the past year alone! The lack of research poses challenges to effective and encompassing conservation efforts and the new
We actively promote the Forest as an outdoor classroom for ecological research. We disseminate research results via multi-faceted environmental education outlets, including onsite interpretative signage, a tour app and social media. The new research results will be shared over an illustrated, bilingual, and user-friendly digital catalog. Flora, fauna, fungi and other organisms that inhabit the forest will be showcased, with valuable data, insights and images provided by the research teams.
The catalog will capture local and global attention, inspiring nature enthusiasts, the community and students to virtually explore this unique Forest. Also, the new info, insights and images will become part of our overall efforts, advancing conservation, environmental learning and research. Contributions will mean we can refresh interpretive signage throughout the Forest, update the Forest Tour mobile app, and boost social media initiatives ensuring the Forest's long-term viability and access.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).