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Mar 5, 2015

Gracias President Varela

 Photo: Mdf/Wikimedia
Photo: Jitze Couperus - Flickr
Panama bird paradise saved
The Harpy Eagle is the national bird of Panama and it is the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas.   Destruction of its natural habitat in Panama and elsewhere in Central America has meant the Harpy Eagle is vanishing in its normal range, which also includes the northern half of South America.   The Panamanian government, in 2012, decided to withdraw protected status for the Bay of Panama Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, an internationally important site for native and migratory birds.   The area had been under threat by relaxed mangrove-cutting regulations and pressure from hotel and golf course developers.   On February 2nd of this year, the Panamanian president signed a legislative bill to reinstate full protection for the Bay of Panama.   The legislative action was the result of pressure from many associations and individuals.   One of the biggest concerns of environmentalists is the deadly eutrophication (oxygen deprivation) of the the sea in Panama Bay, as a result of ongoing agricultural and livestock operations, plus urban wastewater from Panama City.   The challenge is huge but it appears floodgates of hope have been reopened in this part of the world, for many bird species.
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