Barro Colorado

Barro Colorado Island (BCI), a 1,560-hectare island, is STRI's primary site for the study of lowland moist tropical forests. Together with five adjacent peninsulas, BCI forms the 5,600-hectare Barro Colorado Nature Monument (BCNM), which is located in the middle of the Panama Canal. Established in April 17, 1923, BCNM and has been administered by the Smithsonian since 1946.

We welcome around 240 scientists from around the world every year. Modern, air-conditioned laboratory space, a cafeteria, and accommodations are available for resident researchers, and the Field Research Station features all the necessary infrastructure: offices, labs, growing houses, an insectary, dark room, computer room, dining hall, conference room, visitor’s center, as well as Internet access (WiFi), telephones, and boat rental services.

Major short—and long—term research is carried out here. Please see the Barro Colorado bibliography.

Aerial view of Barro Colorado

Aerial view of Barro Colorado


Barro Colorado personnel provides support to the scientific visitors and staff, applying all the regulations needed for the best management of the Nature Monument as a field research station. The mission of the BCNM administration is to facilitate the work of researchers by providing quality housing, well-balanced meals in the dining room and support services for administration procedures.

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