LOCATION(S): Honduras
Topics: Ecosystems

The Cayos Cochinos Biological Reserve is a biological reserve created in 1993, encompassing a 460-square-kilometer (184-square-mile) area on the Caribbean coast that includes two forested islands and 12 sand keys, as well as surrounding coral reefs, seagrass beds and other underwater habitats. The Honduran Coral Reef Foundation requested the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), based in Panama, provide scientific and monitoring expertise for the Los Cochinos Archipelago. STRI started the project in June 1994. In 1995 STRI assisted with the opening of a new biological research station on Cochino Pequeno, one of the forested islands. The marine environment of the area is relatively untouched. STRI scientists advised on the management of the reserve to serve the needs of the local population and a modest tourism industry through 'sustainable development,' while also contributing to biological knowledge.