Habitat loss is the main threat to species worldwide.
Yet, despite calls to "save the rainforest", deforestation is continuing at an alarming rate in many areas of the tropical Americas.
At first glance, Panama's environment may seem secure, with the second-highest forest cover and greatest number of protected areas (representing 1/3 of all its rainforests) in all of Central America. However, these comparisons can be misleading: only three of Panama's 10 provinces – Darién, Colón, and Bocas del Toro – still have good forest cover remaining. If we want to reverse this trend, it's vital to understand what is causing deforestation in Panama and the effects it has.
"With the chain saw these guys can do anything. They look at a mahogany tree and they cut it on the weekend, saw it in slabs, get it on someone's pickup. It's a problem."
– Dr. Heckadon-Moreno,
Director of Communications and Public Programs of the Punta Galeta Marine Laboratory, in an interview with the New York Times