Los Roques was the object of scientific
research in many different disciplines including geology, anthropology,
oceanography, ecology and marine biology. In 1937, Aguerrevere and López led
one of the first expeditions to Los Roques during which they studied the system's
geology and phosphate deposits. Other pioneer expeditions were that of William
Phelps in the 1950s, who made notable contributions to the archipelago's bird
fauna, and the expeditions in 1950 and 1954 by the La Salle Foundation who put
together the most complete fauna and flora study of the time.
Many research projects have been carried out in Los Roques. Carlsen (1999)
registered 78 research projects mainly in tourism, ecology and marine biology.
Since 1963, Los Roques Scientific Foundation (FCLR), with a Marine Biology
Station on Dos Mosquises Island, has worked as a private institution carrying out
conservation and research in marine science and archeology. Until 1999, the FCLR
had conducted about 42 research projects in taxonomy and marine systematics,
aquaculture, fishery biology, marine ecology, human ecology, sustainable
development, and archaeology. These projects have produced 92 scientific
papers, 17 technical reports, 33 theses and about 30 popular or educational
publications. Marlena and Andrej Antczak have been conducting archaeological
research in many of the archipelago's islands since 1982. The Biological Station
at Dos Mosquises currently exhibits some of their findings.
Since 1987, Juan Posada has studied the fisheries of queen conch, lobster, and
fish in general. As a marine biology teacher at Simón Bolívar University in the last
few years Posada has advised a number of students studying many aspects of
commercially valuable species (i.e. queen conch, lobster, and bone fish). Aside
from this, students from the Science Faculty of the Central University of
Venezuela have studied coral anomalies and its diseases, and the possible
effects that tourism causes on coral reefs. In 1996, the Universidad Central de
Venezuela diving club (BIOSUB) studied coral bleaching and evaluated the sea
cucumber population with the purpose of regulating its commercial harvest (see
Carlos Bosque, Ornithology teacher at Simón Bolívar University, determined the
conservation status of the reproductive colonies of sea birds in Los Roques. The
project was financed by the World Bank with the intermediacy of INPARQUES.
According to this study, park zoning has been beneficial for the maintenance of
reproductive colonies of many bird species that are considered rare or scarce in
the Caribbean Sea.
The conservation status of sea turtles that nest in the park was recently
evaluated by Verónica de Los Llanos and Hedelvy Guada. The Spanish Agency of
International Cooperation (AECI) has developed the program "Araucaria Los
Roques" in order to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable development
of the natural resources in Los Roques Archipelago National Park. This four-year
program started in 2000, has a budget of 790,029 Euros. This comprehensive
project involves the community at Los Roques, governmental organizations, and
universities. Two institutes from the Simón Bolívar University are currently carrying
out research that is included in the program. The Natural Resource Institute
evaluates the conservation status of the park's natural resources and their
management. The Regional and Urban Studies Institute is conducting a
demographic study of the population that lives in Gran Roque.