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Long before it became a national park, Los Roques was the object of scientific research in many different disciplines including geology, anthropology, oceanography, ecology and marine biology. In 1937, Aguerrevere and López led one of the first expeditions to Los Roques during which they studied the system's geology and phosphate deposits. Other pioneer expeditions were that of William Phelps in the 1950s, who made notable contributions to the archipelago's bird fauna, and the expeditions in 1950 and 1954 by the La Salle Foundation who put together the most complete fauna and flora study of the time.

 

Many research projects have been carried out in Los Roques. Carlsen (1999) registered 78 research projects mainly in tourism, ecology and marine biology. Since 1963, Los Roques Scientific Foundation (FCLR), with a Marine Biology Station on Dos Mosquises Island, has worked as a private institution carrying out conservation and research in marine science and archeology. Until 1999, the FCLR had conducted about 42 research projects in taxonomy and marine systematics, aquaculture, fishery biology, marine ecology, human ecology, sustainable development, and archaeology. These projects have produced 92 scientific papers, 17 technical reports, 33 theses and about 30 popular or educational publications. Marlena and Andrej Antczak have been conducting archaeological research in many of the archipelago's islands since 1982. The Biological Station at Dos Mosquises currently exhibits some of their findings.

 

Since 1987, Juan Posada has studied the fisheries of queen conch, lobster, and fish in general. As a marine biology teacher at Simón Bolívar University in the last few years Posada has advised a number of students studying many aspects of commercially valuable species (i.e. queen conch, lobster, and bone fish). Aside from this, students from the Science Faculty of the Central University of Venezuela have studied coral anomalies and its diseases, and the possible effects that tourism causes on coral reefs. In 1996, the Universidad Central de Venezuela diving club (BIOSUB) studied coral bleaching and evaluated the sea cucumber population with the purpose of regulating its commercial harvest (see López 1996).

 

Carlos Bosque, Ornithology teacher at Simón Bolívar University, determined the conservation status of the reproductive colonies of sea birds in Los Roques. The project was financed by the World Bank with the intermediacy of INPARQUES. According to this study, park zoning has been beneficial for the maintenance of reproductive colonies of many bird species that are considered rare or scarce in the Caribbean Sea.

 

The conservation status of sea turtles that nest in the park was recently evaluated by Verónica de Los Llanos and Hedelvy Guada. The Spanish Agency of International Cooperation (AECI) has developed the program "Araucaria Los Roques" in order to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable development of the natural resources in Los Roques Archipelago National Park. This four-year program started in 2000, has a budget of 790,029 Euros. This comprehensive project involves the community at Los Roques, governmental organizations, and universities. Two institutes from the Simón Bolívar University are currently carrying out research that is included in the program. The Natural Resource Institute evaluates the conservation status of the park's natural resources and their management. The Regional and Urban Studies Institute is conducting a demographic study of the population that lives in Gran Roque.

 

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