Research conducted to date in the Cockpit Country has generally been species-specific and focused. The results of these individual studies will serve as a foundation upon which to build additional research in order to understand the interactions among species so that more effective management decisions can be made to conserve biodiversity.

In addition to our ongoing bird banding research, which aims to connect bird species data with habitat quality, other recent research programmes include: bats, bromiliad habitats, click beetles, crabs, frogs, insects, parrots, passiflora, rotifers, snails, streamertails, snakes.

We are also just initiating a BirdLife International projectlinton park mntn to rehabilitate a degraded cockpit bottom at Linton Park Mountain, near Duanvale.

Consult our database for a complete list of all publications on research carried out in Cockpit Country.

Research on invertebrates in Cockpit Country has been undertaken to understand a number of ecological principles, including island biogeography, adaptive radiation and speciation, and colonization and extinction processes. Cave systems and their fauna can serve as model systems for the study of a variety of geological and biological questions, including minerology, adaptation, speciation, regressive evolution and species interactions (e.g., competition, predation, mutualism) (Stringer and Meyer-Rochow 1994, 1996, 1997; see also Culver 1982, Camacho 1992). Because of their well-defined limits and relatively simple community assemblages, they serve as near-perfect natural laboratories. This also poses a special conservation problem because population sizes tend to be small and highly restricted in range. Scientific research must be monitored strictly to ensure species are not collected to extinction or their fragile cave habitat destroyed.

Recognising that all researchers need data on flora as a foundation, Windsor Research Centre is proposing a study programme to obtain baseline data for Cockpit Country flora in order to give us a competitive advantage in attracting post-graduate and other researchers to the area. We are setting up a six-week programme to train local parataxonomists and to obtain a species inventory for the Windsor area. On completion of this training, we will set up study plots throughout Cockpit Country to investigate the temporal and spatial variations of potential indicator species.

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