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Publications supported by GAIA

Conservation and Sustainable Development in Nicaragua

The Gaia program at FUNDECI is active throughout Nicaragua. Our office is located at Estación Biológica in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua, where we operate the Biological Research Station and Hostel "Proyecto Ecológico", conduct a number of research and conservation projects throughout Nicaragua, and provide Spanish language instruction to volunteers, interns, and professionals at Apoyo Spanish School. We also offer opportunities for volunteering in biology, natural resource management, education, and community organization areas. You are invited to visit us on the shore of Laguna de Apoyo. Contact us by email, or by telephone 011-505-8882-3992.

The following scientific and technical publications and newspaper articles have been supported by GAIA, a program of the Nicaraguan Foundation for Integral Community Development (FUNDECI).

McCrary, Hernández-Portocarrero, Saldaña-Tapia, Rueda-Pereira 2015: Biodiversity on canal route already at risk (Nature)

Limnología, Calidad de Agua, Hidrogeología e Hidrogeoquímica del Lago de Apoyo Katherine Vammen, Salvador Montenegro Guillén, Víctor Martínez Herrera, Yelba Flores Meza, Heyddy Calderón Palma, Ninoska Chow Wong, Ramón García Galán, Roberto Cano Espinoza, Karla Rivas Navarrete, Selvia Flores Sánchez, Carmen Chacón Mayorga, Argentina Zelaya Noguera (Revista Estudios Ambientales 2014).

La Caceriacute;a Histórica del Tapir Centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii) en la RAAS, Nicaragua Christopher Jordan, Miguel Ruíz Galeano, Álvaro Simons Alonzo (Revista Estudios Ambientales 2014).

Dos registros nuevos de peces en aguas continentales de Nicaragua Jeffrey K. McCrary, Salvador Montenegro Guillén, Thelma Salvatierra, Matthias F. Geiger (Revista Estudios Ambientales 2014).

Ficus cotinifolia (Urticales: Moraceae), planta hospedera de Marpesia petreus ssp. tethys (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) Pablo A. Somarriba P., Jeffrey K. McCrary, Aura L. Cruz (Revista Estudios Ambientales 2014).

Geiger, McCrary, Schliewen 2013: Apoyo, Revisited: Population Genetics of an Emerging Species Flock (PLoS One)

Lehtonen, McCrary, Meyer 2012: Introduced Predator Elicits Deficient Brood Defence Behaviour in a Cichlid Fish (PLoS One).

Van Dort J, McCrary JK (2010): Lepidoptera of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Rev. Nic. Biodiv.

Lehtonen, McCrary, Meyer 2010: Territorial aggression can be sensitive to the status of heterospecific intruders. Behavioural Processes.

Geiger MF, McCrary JK, and Schliewen U 2010: Phylogenetics of the Midas Cichlid Species Complex. Molec. Phylog. Evol.

Geiger MF, McCrary JK, Stauffer JR, Jr. 2010: Two Amphilophus New Species Descriptions from Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua. Proc. Nat. Soc. Wash.

Management Plan Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

McCrary JK, Young Jr. DP (2008): New and noteworthy observations of raptors in southward migration in Nicargua. Ornitología Neotropical 19:573-580.

McCrary JK, Arendt WJ, Chavarría L, López LJ, Somarriba PA, Boudrault P-O, Cruz AL, Muñoz FJ, and Mackler DG. 2009. A contribution to Nicaraguan ornithology, with a focus on the pine–oak ecoregion. Cotinga 31:89-95.

Stauffer Jr., Jr., McCrary JK, Black K 2008: Three Amphilophus New Species Descriptions from Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua. Proc. Nat. Soc. Wash.

McCrary JK, Arendt WJ, Morales S, Arengi JT and López LJ 2008. New avian sight records for Nicaragua, with notes on abundance, distribution and habitat use. Cotinga 29:102-107.

McCrary JK, López LJ. 2008: Breeding Ecology and Relative Abundance and Reproduction of Lake Apoyo Cichlids. Revista Nicaraguense de Biodiversidad

McCrary JK, Madsen H, Gonzalez LI, Luna I, and López LJ (2008). Comparison of gastropod mollusc (Apogastropoda: Hydrobiidae) habitats in two crater lakes in Nicaragua.International Journal of Tropical Biology 56:113-120.

Ronald Oldfield Journal of Fisheries International 2007.

Ronald Oldfield 2.

Descriptions of Three New Species of Cichlid Fishes (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Xiloá, Nicaragua.


Ronald Oldfield 1.

McCrary JK, Murphy BR, Stauffer JR, Jr., and Hendrix SS 2007: Tilapia Status in Nicaragua Natural Waters. Environmental Biology of Fishes 78:104-114.

University of Michigan 2007: The Effects of Social Interaction on Sex Determination in Midas Cichlids

McCrary JK, Castro M, McKaye KR (2006): Mercury in Fishes and Water of Nicaraguan Lakes. Environmental Pollution 141:513-518.

Nature 2006 (1): Sympatric Speciation in Nicaraguan Midas Cichlids

Nature 2006 (2): Evidence for Sympatric Speciation?

Forest Ecology and Management 2006: Fuelwood Commercialization and Nicaraguan Forests

Caribbean Journal of Science 2006: Habitat Use, Social Behavior, and Female and Male Size Distributions of Juvenile Midas Cichlids, Amphilophus cf. citrinellus, in Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua.

Shillington L, McCrary JK, and Hammett AL. 2005. Complex Connections: The role of non-timber forest products in urban and rural livelihoods in Nicaragua. Urban-Rural Interfaces Conference Proceedings 1:250-255.

Aquatic Conservation 2005: The Effects of Introduced Tilapias on Native Biodiversity

Arengi J, McCrary J (2004): Raptor Migration Monitoring in Nicaragua. Hawk Migration Studies 29:20-25.

Caribbean Journal of Science 2004: Illegal Extraction of Forest Products from Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua

Encuentro 2004: Participation of Non-timber Forest Products in the Informal Economy: A Case Study

Caribbean Journal of Science 2004: Illegal Extraction of Forest Products in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua

Ecoforestry 2003: Tropical Forestry Issues: An Ecological Networks Proposal to Benefit the Forests and Farmers of Nicaragua's Pacific Slope

Natural Areas Journal 2002: Resource Use and Management in Selected Nicaraguan Protected Areas

M.S. Virginia Tech Shillington 2002: Non-timber Forest Products, Gender, and Households in Nicaragua: A Commodity Chain Analysis

L'an Cichlidé 2002: Le Complexe Amphilophus << citrinellus >> dans la Laguna de Xiloa, Nicaragua

Cuadernos de Investigacion 2002: The Midas Cichlid Species Complex

Encuentro 2001: Tilapia cultivation: A Threat to Native Species in Nicaragua

Cichlid News 2001: The Midas Cichlid Species Complex of Nicaragua: Evidence for Sympatric Speciation?

Natural Areas Journal 2001: Patterns of Vertebrate Species Richness and Conservation in Nicaragua

Encuentro 1999: Fishes of the Crater Lakes of Nicaragua

Forest Products Journal 1999: Forest Products in Nicaragua

van den Bergh EP, López LJ, McKaye KR, McCrary JK, 1999. Behavior and Reproduction in Parachromis dovii. Encuentro 51:44-50.

DANIDA 2004: Avances en la Descripción Biológica de la Reserva Natural Península de Chiltepe (Spanish), Jeffrey McCrary.

El Nuevo Diario 1-Jeffrey McCrary.

El Nuevo Diario 2-Jeffrey McCrary.

El Nuevo Diario 3-Jeffrey McCrary.

The Nicaragua Nature Scientific Library. Here we provide access to many sources of information important to scientific research on natural resources in Nicaragua, for academic and non-commercial research purposes only.

Barlow and Munsey (1976): The arrow cichlid species description.

Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in the Midas cichlid fish pharyngeal jaw and its relevance in adaptive radiation. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:116.

Hurtado (2015): El Estado de Soberanía Alimentaria de Centroamérica. Alianza Regional para el Derecho Humano a la Alimentación en Centroamérica.



Dive Laguna de Apoyo

Proyecto Ecológico Laguna de Apoyo

Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua


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Nicaragua GAIA Nicaragua

Jeffrey McCrary

Gaia publishes a journal in Spanish, Estudios Ambientales, dedicated to scientific research on the environment in Nicaragua. Click on the cover to read more about Estudios Ambientales.

Jeffrey McCrary

This White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa) was rescued from certain death by the Gaia staff. Today he lives in the trees above Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo, but he still visits us. Photo Katie Daubert.

Nicaragua research

Laguna de Apoyo is natural and nearly unspoiled. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Jeffrey McCrary

The views around Laguna de Apoyo are unsurpassed in Central America. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Jeffrey McCrary

The forest inside the crater in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve contains dozens of reptile species. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Lake Apoyo

GAIA, the people and government of Japan, and the contributions of visitors to Estación Biológica, worked together so that these children can attend the new, beautiful "Héroes y Mártires de Xiloá" school near the shore of Laguna de Xiloá in Chiltepe Peninsula Nature Reserve. Photo Belén Camino.

publications Nicaragua

Field identification of the reptiles of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Kolby Kirk.

lake apoyo

Wildlife of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve is abundant. Photo Lewis Honour.


This tiny snake, Tantilla armillata, was the first of its species to be found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Lewis Honour.

Nicaragua Spanish Schools

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. Join us in a study of this endemic fish species. Photo Ad Konings.

Nicaragua Spanish Schools

Gaia 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 Pablo Somarriba.

Nicaragua Spanish Schools

Spanish classes in Laguna de Apoyo 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 Jeffrey McCrary.

Apoyo Spanish School

A tour of students of Apoyo Spanish School to Catarina, with the lake and Granada in view. Photo Belén Camino.


Nicaragua Spanish schools

San Juan de Oriente, on the edge of Apoyo crater, is the most important center of artisan ceramic pottery in Nicaragua. Gaia supports natural resource conservation in the region which is vital to the livelihoods throughout the area. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.


Nicaragua Spanish school

Scientific SCUBA diving in Laguna de Apoyo. Gaia provides logistical and scientific support for studies of ecosystems in Nicaragua such as freshwater lakes and rivers, and tropical forests. We arrange, coordinate, and support internships and scientific partnerships throughout Nicaragua. Photo Topi Lehtonen.