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Sustainable Development and Wild Nature Conservation in NICARAGUA


To protect and care for our environment, we are obligated to understand it. Nicaragua's unique environment is marked by features that require precise, scientific understanding about species and communities which have been considered little or not at all. GAIA works on the frontiers of science in search of information vital to protect and use sustainably our environment in a variety of locations and ecosystems across the Nicaraguan map.

GAIA began with studies of the Midas cichlids in Laguna de Xiloá and Laguna de Apoyo, and later diversified into terrestrial fauna and the interface between humans and the environment. GAIA has supported several studies on wildlife ecology in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve and elsewhere in Nicaragua. The following is a partial list of research projects involving GAIA, both past and present.

Ecology and Taxonomy of Fishes in Nicaraguan Freshwaters

Forest Use Research

Raptor Migration and Wind Energy

Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology

Golden-cheeked Warbler Winter Ecology

Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment Tumarin

Nicaraguan Grand Interoceanic Canal

Revista Ciencias Ambientales

Some of the scientific publications and technical reports supported by GAIA can be found on the following link. Please visit and read about our efforts to document the environment in Nicaragua.

Scientific and Technical Publications supported by GAIA

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.

Apoyo Spanish School



The Mountain School

Dive Laguna de Apoyo

Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo


Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Animals of Laguna de Apoyo

Spanish Studies and Volunteering in Laguna de Apoyo

Arts and Culture in Nicaragua

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The chancho cichlid, Amphilophus chancho, one of the fish species endemic to Laguna de Apoyo, discovered by scientists working in a GAIA research project. This species is easily seen while diving in Laguna de Apoyo. GAIA scientists continue studies in the ecology of this endemic fish species. 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 Pablo Somarriba.



Wildlife such as this Pacific Screech-Owl (Megascops cooperi). GAIA conducts a long-term longitudinal study the biodiversity of and wildlife use of different habitats in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Ineke van Beek.


conservation science

Biodiversity studies conducted in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Wendy van Kooten.



San Juan de Oriente, on the edge of Apoyo crater, is the most important center of artisan ceramic pottery in Nicaragua, a sector which depends heavily on fuelwood. GAIA has published several studies of the natural resource use patterns in the region. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.



Scientific SCUBA diving in Laguna de Apoyo. GAIA 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.



Gaia edits and publishes the scientific journal Estudios Ambientales, available free of charge to all readers in pdf format, free of charge to all. Read scientific reports on environmental topics in Nicaragua, written by professionals working in the country. Ciencias Ambientales publishes research reports on biodiversity, environment, geology, geography, ecology, and associated topics. Click on the cover illustration for your copy.