Central & South America and Caribbean Projects

Central & South America and Caribbean Projects


Harpy Eagle Conservation Program in Panama

Zoo Miami  worked directly with the government of the Republic of Panama to initiate, design, and direct the development of a state-of-the-art Harpy Eagle Center at the Summit Zoo and Botanical gardens just outside of Panama City.  The facility opened in August of 1998 and features a huge free flight aviary in addition to an air-conditioned interactive center that hosts thousands of visitors each year.  It is used as a base for harpy eagle conservation education programs throughout Panama and serves as a role model for similar programs throughout all of Tropical America. In addition to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to build and help maintain the facility, Zoo Miami provides ongoing funding for research on harpy eagles in the wild and has participated in several field expeditions.

Endangered Giant Rivier Otters in Colombia

In collaboration with the research staff at the Cali Zoo, Zoo Miami supported Giant Rivier Otters population surveys in three different sites in Colombia. 

University of West Indies, Jamaica

Jamaican Iguana - photo by Steve Conners

The Zoo Miami Conservation Fund has provided funding for a study on the long-term response of rare, endemic Jamaican reptiles (including the Jamaican iguana) to the removal of a non-native predator, the Indian Mongoose.

The Fundacion Ecologica de Cuixmala, Mexico

The Zoo Miami Conservation Fund has provided funding for a census of jaguars in a tropical dry forest of Jalisco, Mexico.

Cuban Crocodile,  Zoo Miami

Photo by Isabel Sanchez

Cuban Crocodile SSP manages the US captive population and works in Cuba to conserve the wild population. This is the rarest crocodilian in the western hemisphere. Zoo Miami has bred this species and was the first to document and publish parental care of young in Cuban Crocodiles.

Jamaican Iguana Recovery Program, Jamaica

Jamaican Iguana - photo by Steve Conners

The goal of this project is to establish a self-sustaining population of Jamaican Iguanas. This species was believed to be extinct until they were rediscovered in 1993. Wild population is threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators. Recovery tools are predator control and raising juveniles in captivity for later release. In collaboration with the Fort Worth Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Hope Zoo, and the University of the West Indies, International Iguana Foundation.

Booby Cay Iguana, Bahamas

This project monitors the only population of Bartsch's Rock Iguana (subspecies of the Turks and Caicos Iguana). Booby Cay, a 1 square mile island near the larger island of Mayaguana, is the only location where they are found. Iguana population is estimated at 500 individuals. We monitor the population through mark and recapture and take blood samples for genetic analysis. We also educate local people about their unique iguana. 

Ricord's Rock Iguana, Dominican Republic

The Iguana Specialist Group (ISG) and Dominican collaborators met and developed a recovery plan for this endangered lizard. Part of the plan called for a survey of the habitat to determine size of remaining population. This is a project done in collaboration with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's ISG.