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A Panamanian island, isolated from humans, loses its biodiversity

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Barro Colorado, an island formed by the construction of the Panama Canal and the artificial Gatun Lake that feeds it, has lost about a quarter of its bird species in a century despite being protected from human disturbance, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute said Thursday.

This situation stems from a combination of factors that has slowly transformed Barro Colorado's bird community into one that resembles that of the region's driest and most disturbed forests, the organization said in a statement.

"Uniquely, the Barro Colorado bird community has been documented by ornithologists for 90 years . . .

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