The Biosphere Reserve La Encrucijada, Chiapas | Photography Eccardi Fulvio
Exhibition "Mesoamerican Biological Corridor: Space of Life”. 2007
Biological corridors are areas, usually elongated, connecting two or more regions. They may be narrow strips of vegetation, riparian forests, tunnels below roads, plantations, remnant vegetation or large expanses of natural forest. Their crucial quality is that they maintain connectivity between extremes to avoid the isolation of populations.
Biological corridors began to have relevance for nature conservation with the observation of the decrease in the number of species in isolated areas. For example, with the construction of the Panama Canal (1907-1913), the 425 km2 Gatun Lake was created in the Chagres River. With the enormous flood, the tips of the mountains became islands, including the 15.7 km2 island of Barro Colorado. This was declared a nature reserve in 1923. However, since that date, the fauna and flora of the island have undergone major changes. More than 65 bird species have disappeared from the 208 originally present on the island. In addition, It has been suggested that the disappearance of large predators (puma, jaguar and harpy eagle) has resulted in a population increase of their prey (coatis, agouti, sloths and howler monkeys), which in turn has changed the composition of vegetation as a result of their dietary preferences.