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New Plant Guide for Coiba National Park

April 01, 2013

New Plant Guide for Coiba National Park

Panama's Coiba Island, a former penal colony, escaped the development and destruction of forests on the nearby mainland and became a national park

Panama’s Coiba Island, a former penal colony, escaped the development and destruction of forests on the nearby mainland and became a national park. With her new Guía Botánica del Parque Nacional Coiba, Alicia Ibáñez created a tool for educators, park guards and students to better appreciate the diversity of the park’s flora. This first guide to the flora of a protected area in Panama features photos and descriptions of 415 of the 1,045 species known from the Park.

Based on collections spanning 20 years funded by the Spanish government, and two years of intensive exploration by Panama International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups in the search for natural sources of pharmaceuticals, "this inspired guide enables a deeper appreciation of the uniqueness of Coiba and its biota, teaching us that the beauty and mystery of the forests of Coiba are matched or surpassed by their underlying species diversity and botanical richness," according to William Gerwick, principal investigator, ICBG.

Alicia thanks the photographers, University of Panama botany students, park guards and boat drivers who accompanied her in the field, the Panama Natural Resources Authority, ANAM, and the National Office of Science, Technology and Innovation, SENACYT for funds to print the guide.

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