Research Projects

What are your interests?

Terrestrial or Marine?

The species and habitats of land and sea are inherently connected on a small Caribbean island such as Utila, therefore successful wildlife conservation must involve an understanding of how humans and species interact with both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
At Kanahau, we develop, support and help facilitate a wide range of studies across all taxa, with the ultimate aim of conserving species diversity and the natural environment. If you want to learn more, get involved or develop your own study, select the general topic that interests you to check out our ongoing research projects and internships!

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Marine Research

Interested in scuba diving/snorkelling, marine biology, coral reefs, fish, crustaceans, algae or sea grass beds? There is opportunity to get training and be involved in our collaborative projects, such as coral nurseries and reef restoration as well as biodiversity surveying.

Terrestrial Research

Utila's terrestrial ecosystems of hardwood/palm forest, mangroves, neotropical savanna and coastal habitats are essential in supporting a high species diversity! Our ongoing research includes the study of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, bats, birds and invertebrates!

Click a project to learn more!

Environmental Education

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DSC03589.JPG

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Kanahau School of Nature - C. bakeri out
Kanahau School of Nature - C. bakeri out

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Kanahau School of Nature - C. bakeri out
Kanahau School of Nature - C. bakeri out

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DSC03589.JPG

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This project aims to enhance existing science education on Utila, engage students in environmental conservation and hopefully inspire the future generation of working Utilans to protect their local ecosystems while developing tourism and other industries responsibly.

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Herpetofauna

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BICA Anole.JPG

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Sphaerodactylus rosaurae - Bay Island en
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae - Bay Island en

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IMG_20180828_185950_608.jpg

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BICA Anole.JPG

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Our primary research focus in recent years has been the islands reptiles and amphibians, many of which are threatened and little studied. A total of 44 species have been recorded, seven of which are endemic to Utila or Honduras and occur nowhere else in the world. This species list has the potential to grow as large portions of the island have not been previously surveyed. Currently, the recorded diversity is comprised of multiple families; 1 freshwater turtle, 3 marine turtle, 1 crocodile, 18 lizard, 13 snake and 6 frog species.

Bats

Natalus mexicanus Cover Photo - Submissi
Natalus mexicanus Cover Photo - Submissi

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DSC02198.JPG

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Vampire bat - spectral.jpg
Vampire bat - spectral.jpg

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Natalus mexicanus Cover Photo - Submissi
Natalus mexicanus Cover Photo - Submissi

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Our bat study has three main aims:

  1. to continue cataloguing the bat species present on Utila within different habitat types

  2. to estimate and monitor the population size of bat colonies living within limestone cave systems island wide

  3. to establish protection, conservation management plans and facilitate sustainable eco-tourism for these sites.


Learn more about bats and how you can become involved.  

Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana

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IMG-20171003-WA0012_edited_edited.jpg

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Ctenosaura bakeri - Utila endemic.JPG

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DSC03420.JPG

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The Utila spiny tailed iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri) or The "Swamper" as it is known locally,  is Critically Endangered and lives only on the island of Utila. It is among the worlds only 'strictly mangrove dwelling reptiles', but despite international fame, the species remains subject to various anthropogenic threats! Check our research to date and learn how you can become involved!

Utila Coral Restoration

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Coral restoration photo.jpg

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coral.jpg

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Utila coral restoration logo.png

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Coral restoration photo.jpg
Coral restoration photo.jpg

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This is your Project description. Whether your work is based on text, images, videos or a different medium, providing a brief summary will help visitors understand the context and background. Then use the media section to showcase your project!

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Invertebrates

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Fri Mar 23 16-21-46.jpg

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Diploglossus insularis - Bay Island ende
Diploglossus insularis - Bay Island ende

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DSC05173 (3).JPG

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Fri Mar 23 16-21-46.jpg
Fri Mar 23 16-21-46.jpg

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This is your Project description. Whether your work is based on text, images, videos or a different medium, providing a brief summary will help visitors understand the context and background. Then use the media section to showcase your project!

Contact