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Station 3:
The first sight of a scientist


Walk behind or in front of the Ranger House and stop under the trees before reaching the Visitor Center.


The vegetation of the island was very different from today

Berthold Seeman

Berthold Seemann

Photo  courtesy  Heckadon, Stanley (STRI).

The first scientist to visit the island was Berthold Seeman, who landed for a single day, on May 6, 1847. Seeman served as the naturalist on the steamship HMS Herald, tasked with exploring and mapping the Pacific coast of America and investigate the flora and fauna. 

iguana island pedasi

View of the only area that remains wooded on the island, between the bohío and the house of Minsín Espino.

playa el toro pedasi

Although his visit was short, Seeman left us a brief description of the flora and fauna of the island, very different from today. and similar to that of the Pedasí coastline, on the mainland, and the Pearl Islands, which are classified as Tropical Dry Forest. Some of the species that he mentions as the most abundant remain today, such as  U vita and Coconut Palms, Panama Tree, Almond Trees, Guava; and others have disappeared, such as  the Oak, Corotú, Quince.

The creepers were limited to the Campanita de Playa and the Frijolillo. It did not record the presence of the current creepers, such as the Espina de Pato, Bejuco Dormidera or Cerbulaca.

View of the remnants of dry tropical forests around the El Toro creek, on the mainland coast of Pedasí. Photo from 2003.


Seeman, Berthold. 1853. Narrative of the Voyage of HMS Herald during the years 1845-51. Vol. I. op. cit.

Heckadon, Stanley (STRI). 1998. Researchers of the Isthmus of Panama.

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