Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kickstarter campaign

Save Coral Reefs: Costa Rica Calling

Have you ever heard of the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG)? As an ecologist or conservation biologist you might have, as a barcoder it is very likely you have. Home to 2.4% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, the ACG in Costa Rica is the only protected area in the Neotropics that sweeps from Pacific Ocean waters up over the volcanic mountain range of the continental divide and down into the lowlands of the Atlantic rain forest. In the mid-1980s, world renowned ecologist Dan Janzen and his wife and research partner, Winnie Hallwachs, had grown so alarmed at the rapid rate at which forests were disappearing in the region that they threw themselves into an immense conservation project, co-founded the ACG, and pretty much dedicated all their life to turn an area of 120,000 terrestrial hectares and 43,000 marine hectares into permanently conserved, government-owned, and managed wildlands. The ACG has also been the stage for a lot of groundbreaking work on DNA barcoding starting with the famous case of Astraptes fulgerator which was followed by numerous studies focusing on different aspects of the region and its biodiversity. Dan and Winnie are likely the strongest supporters of DNA barcoding outside our institute and a lot of the success of the past decade can be attributed to their tireless efforts to spread the word and convince colleagues of the value of DNA-based biodiversity research. When I was asked to spread the word about a Kickstarter campaign to support a new research project on corals in the ACG's marine sector there was no hesitation to provide some modest help through posting my blog:

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