Covered in lush rainforests, hundreds of mangrove islands, and coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life, the Bocas del Toro Archipelago serves as a living laboratory for studying tropical biodiversity. This chain of islands is populated by everything from hummingbirds and howler monkeys to stingrays, dolphins, sloths, and brightly colored poison dart frogs. At first glance, Bocas is nothing short of paradise.
However, climate change and increased tourism on the islands have led to ecosystem and natural resource degradation while also threatening Indigenous islanders’ traditional livelihoods. Our research on the environmental impacts of tourism and development on the natural ecosystems in Bocas provides the community with data necessary to support more sustainable policies and protect the beautiful islands so many call home.