Kanahau Research Station in Utilia Honduras
Utilia, a small island off the coast of Honduras is a tourist destination for divers. With the intense coral reef and mangrove ecosystem it provides a spectacular sight. However, with the rise in tourists the town has been removing the mangroves to build large houses and resorts. Mangroves are an extremely important in coastal areas.Mangrove forests are truly beautiful and intricate ecosystems.
Kanahau’s mission is to protect the natural ecosystems on the island and educate grad school children in the importance of the mangroves. One of their projects is collecting demographic data on the critically endangered Spiny tailed iguana that is endemic and solely lives in the mangroves. Both the adult iguanas and eggs are poached to sell at markets.
As mentioned, Utilia has incredible coral reefs so we decided to check it out. Snorkeling is a great way to see beautiful corals and vibrant fish without impacting the ecosystem. We rented some fins and masks and got into the water right from the beach. Remember to keep fins up when snorkeling as to not damage the fragile corals.