“SWEET BABY JAMES”
Angel Muela— 17 June 2001 — in Harpy Eagle Conservation and Research Share
After consolidating a collaboration agreement with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) we released James again, this time on BCI, a highly protected environment with a large prey base and 80 years of data on the flora and fauna occurring there. For more than 14 months we collected daily data on his foraging behavior and other aspects of his ecology.
Barro Colorado is surrounded by a number of peninsulas that are connected to the mainland and are also part of the Monument, acting as a buffer zone for the island. Young Harpy Eagles, like many other birds, undergo periods of dispersal, which is why James may have explored the nearby peninsulas in spite of the prey richness found on the island. These peninsulas are heavily patrolled by park rangers and are also a safe environment for animals. However, it only took one day outside of the protected area for James to be mortally wounded.
As a consequence we have expanded our educational efforts in the villages that surround the island. We have dedicated one of our biologists to organize talks and involve those communities in protecting their national treasure and, thus far, we have seen a very positive response from residents.
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