In addition to herpetologists, botanists, and marine scientists, Guantanamo Bay is also beginning to attract entomologists. Sam Droege of the US Geological Survey and Sean Brady of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History study native bee populations on the base. "We were the first entomologists to have ever visited [the naval base for research]," Droege says. Droege, who made his first visit with Brady in May 2010, intends to return this fall. "The Base in not well surveyed for most animal groups and given its location on Cuba, the extent of rare habitat, [and] the number of rare plants, there are bound to be many more discoveries to be made and we are promoting it to other biologists as a research destination," Droege says.
CARPENTER: It's one of many odd juxtapositions at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo. The military base is best known for the controversial detention center where suspected terrorists have been imprisoned for years, many without charges. But the detention camp occupies just a small portion of the land. Much of the 45-square-mile base remains undeveloped. And because wildlife is protected and hunting prohibited, Gitmo has become a de facto wildlife preserve. Nobody knows this better than Peter Tolson. On a hot morning, Tolson is standing in a grassy ravine, waving a six-tined antenna back and forth and listening in for beeps on his radio.