Wildlife Movements in Lake Edges on Barro Colorado Island
IS Barro Colorado Island lake edge safe areas for mammals?
Barro Colorado Island is a unique fragmented forest that, like other islets, was a former hilltop that become isolated when the Chagres River was used to flood Central Panama valleys to create Gatun Lake, during the construction of the Panama Canal. Nowadays, BCI is the biggest island in the Gatun Lake, and hence, it is key for conservation.
Excluding bats, the BCI mammalian community composition is represented by 27 resident species and 4 visitors, including 12 tree-living mammals, 3 semi-arboreal, and 16 ground species. For these wildlife, BCI represents an important connecting point with the rest of Central Panama. However, crocodiles may be basking anywhere along the BCI edge, increasing predation risk and with that constraining the degree of visits to the edge by mammals.
In collaboration with Jacalyin Willis and Patrick A. Jansen, we used camera traps to learn; (1) What are the species of mammals visiting the BCI Lake Edge? (2) How frequent are these species visiting the edge? and (3) what is the overlapping degree with crocodiles in the edge?
Stay tuned to know what species visit BCI lake edges and how frequent when crocodiles are around.