HabitatNet: A Global Biodiversity Monitoring Project
HabitatNet: Project Abstract
During the 1995-1996 school year, two teams were organized and lead
by the HabitatNet Project Director in a field research and education
opportunity to the El Eden Eclogical Reserve located 38 kilometeres
west of Cancun in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The first team was composed
of high school students (known as the Souhegan High School BioSwat Team)
who arrived a few days after Hurricane Roxanne crossed the Yucatan in
October 1995. The El Eden Ecological Reserve was inundated with consequent
hurricane rains that resulted in 0.2-1.2 meters of standing water flooding
the forest. The BioSwat Team's initial work was to assess the habitat
types found at the reserve, begin taxonomic identification of species
found in those habitats, and identify migratory birds using the reserve
habitat in October. The later study was under the auspices and direction
of Dr. Tom Will, and ornithologist at CIES in Chiapas, Mexico.
The second team was composed of professional educators interested
in learning field methodology while conducting biodiversity field research.
Their work included establishing two permanent biodiversity monitoring
plots (using HabitatNet's protocol) in two of the three habitat types
found in the reserve as well as developing independent research projects
investigating interspecies interactions withing the permanent plots.
Additionally, Dr. Tom Will joined the group once again for some follow-up
work establishing baseline data on resident bird species. This work
was conducted during July, 1996.
A special note of thanks is extended to Marco Lazcano-Barrero, El
Eden Ecological Reserve's director. El Eden Ecological Reserve is a
tangible manifestation of his knowledge of tropical ecology and vision
for conservation efforts. His leadership, hospitality, and humor exemplify
the best of Homo sapiens'endeavors concerning the confluence between
active stewardship of our habitat with the needs of our species.