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 toucans and butterflies to turtles, sloths, and brightly colored poison dart frogs. At first glance, Bocas is nothing short of paradise.
Unfortunately, increased tourism on the islands has led to ecosystem and natural resource degradation while also compromising Indigenous islanders’ traditional livelihoods. Our research on the environmental impacts of tourism and development in Bocas provides the community with data necessary to support more sustainable policies and protect the beautiful islands they call home.