Sustainable Development and Wild Nature Conservation in Nicaragua
Conservation Science Research
The Nicaraguan economy and culture have revolved around ample access to forest resources from the arrival
of the first humans. With globalization, population increases, and prosperity, forests and natural areas
are facing challenges that each day are more difficult to characterize. The moving target of sustainability
threatens the abundant nature found in Nicaragua. Today, Nicaragua's forests are threatened as never before, and they may disappear.
GAIA participates in studies of natural resource use and
management with the goal of contributing valuable insight into the discussions on policy nationally and
The following publications have resulted from research involving the GAIA Program
on subjects of natural resource use and policy.
McCrary JK, Walsh B, Hammett AL (2005): Species, sources, seasonality, and sustainability of fuelwood commercialization
in Masaya, Nicaragua. Forest Ecology and Management 205:299-309
Shillington L, McCrary JK, Walsh B,Hammett AL (2005): Complex connections: The role of non-timber forest
products in urban and rural livelihoods in Nicaragua. Urban-Rural Interface Conference Proceedings, In Emerging issues along urban/rural interfaces: linking science and society. Conference Proceedings,
Hilton Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 13-16 March 2005. (pp. 254-259). Auburn University.
McCrary JK, Hammett AL, Barany ME,
Machado HE, García DJ, Barrios JI (2004): Illegal extraction of forest products in Laguna de Apoyo Nature
Reserve, Nicaragua. Caribbean Journal of Science 40(2):169-181.
McCrary JK, Shillington LJ,
Santana R, Hammett AL, Riviere J (2004): Participación de los productos no maderables del bosque en la economía
informal: Un estudio de caso. Encuentro 69:58-68.
Barany ME, Hammett AL,
Murphy BR, McCrary JK (2002): Resource use and management of selected Nicaraguan protected areas: A case study
from the Pacific region of Nicaragua. Natural Areas Journal 22:61-69.
Hammett AL, McCrary JK, Bauer GP
(1999): Forest Products in Nicaragua. Forest Products Journal 49(6):12-20.
Hammett AL, Shillington LJ, Murphy BR (2001): The role of private wildlife reserves in Nicaragua's emerging ecotourism
industry. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 9(2):95-110.
Shillington, LJ (2002):
Non-timber Forest Products, Gender, and
Households in Nicaragua: A Commodity Chain
Analysis. Master of Science Thesis, Virginia Tech. 137 pp.
You can help us keep nature wild in Nicaragua, by volunteering your time with us or making a small donation to support
our projects in wild nature conservation.
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Amphilophus chancho, one of the fish species endemic to
Laguna de Apoyo, discovered by scientists working in a GAIA project. This species is easily
seen while diving in Laguna de Apoyo. Photo Ad Konings.
The Gaia Program experts support wildlife studies important to the economy of Nicaragua, such as the impacts of windmills on wildlife. A major
wind farm in Rivas is located along an important bird migration corridor. Photo
Spanish classes are often held under the shade of
huge trees with monkeys looking down. Apoyo Spanish School is the oldest of the intensive Nicaragua Spanish schools. Photo
A tour of students of Apoyo Spanish School to
Catarina, with the lake and Granada in view. Photo Belén Camino.
San Juan de Oriente, on the edge of Apoyo crater, is the most important center of
artisan ceramic pottery in Nicaragua. The municipalities incorporating the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve are Masaya, Granada, Catarina, San Juan
de Oriente, Diriá, Diriomo, and Niquinohomo. The Gaia Program supports natural resource conservation in the region which is vital
to the traditional livelihoods throughout the area. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Scientific SCUBA diving in Laguna de Apoyo. The Gaia Program can provide logistical and scientific support for studies of ecosystems such as
freshwater lakes and rivers, and tropical forests. We arrange, coordinate, and support internships and scientific partnerships throughout Nicaragua.
Photo Topi Lehtonen.