Forest Speaks

Highlights

Important Events in the History of Barro Colorado

 

1910

As part of the effort to build the Panama Canal, the Chagres River was dammed.

The flooding of the Chagres Valley resulted in the formation of Lake Gatun. Barro Colorado Island was formed when the top of a big hill was isolated by the rising waters of the lake.

1923

James Zetek, entomologist working for the Panama Canal Company and Thomas Barbour, Chairman of the Institute for Research in Tropical America seek an area for a reserve.

With William Morton Wheeler and Richard Strong from Harvard they persuade Canal Zone Governor J.J. Morrow to declare Barro Colorado Island a "Natural Park" and to ban all hunting.

James Zetek

1940

The U.S. Congress assumes administrative control of BCI as the Canal Zone Biological Area.

This commemorate stamp marked the event

1946

The Smithsonian Institution becomes permanent steward of the reserve.

1957

Martin Moynihan becomes Resident Naturalist.

1966

Under the direction of Martin Moynihan, the growing number of staff and research facilities are consolidated as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

1974

Ira Rubinoff becomes director of STRI.

1978

The surrounding penninsulas become part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument when the Torrijos-Carter Canal Treaties are signed.

Trail Names