A new, undescribed species of marine worm.
Coral reefs, coastal rainforest, land-grab, industrial bananas and organic cacao, mangroves, tourist boom, eclectic cultural mix: A Caribbean Journal of Science special issue presents the first scientific overview of the marine environment in Bocas del Toro Province near Panama’s border with Costa Rica. With color photographic guide to marine invertebrates--the volume, edited by Dr. Rachel Collin, director STRI’s research station in Bocas--debuts new species and new records for Panama and provides an essential reference for researchers, tourists and conservationists throughout the region.
"The known diversity in Bocas looks very good in comparison with other places in the Caribbean" explains Collin. "Sponges and some brittlestars are much more abundant on reefs here, and after only ten days of snorkel sampling, Bocas has already become the most diverse site for Nemerteans (unsegmented marine worms) and the second most diverse site for tunicates. Diversity is expected to increase with more intensive sampling." Collin found funds from the Smithsonian Marine Science Network and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee to invite a host of experts on different taxonomic groups to conduct marine surveys in 2003 and 2004, and to set up a baseline species inventory for the station.
Collin encourages interested researchers to contact STRI: "I hope that scientists and students will find the organisms they work with in our online database and decide to visit the station. We already have documented more than 3000 species." (see links)
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