|Location||Panama, Bocas del Toro|
|Central coordinates||82o 25.00' West 9o 24.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||0 - 20m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information The globally-threatened Three-wattled Bellbird Procnias carunculata(common) and Bare-necked Umbrellabird Cephalopterus glabricollis (very rare) have been recorded, evidently on post-breeding migration from the highlands. However, Bellbirds have been recorded breeding on nearby Isla Colón and could also breed here. Five of 11 Panama species of EBA 019 (45%) occur, as do 15 of 42 (36%) of biome N05. Several endemic species of the Central American Caribbean Slope EBA also occur. It is one of only two sites in Panama for Nicaraguan Seed-Finch Oryzoborus nuttingi. No nesting colonies of colonial waterbirds are known. The status of rails and other aquatic birds in the area is poorly known. Large flocks of Turkey Vultures and Broad-winged and Swainson's Hawks occur in the area on passage migration, and the site almost certainly exceeds thresholds as a bottleneck site for these species. Although the region in general has been well studied ornithologically, the status of birds in the wetlands themselves is insufficiently known.
Site description This area includes the extensive coastal wetlands extending from the Costa Rican border to Almirante Bay. On the inland side, the area is bordered by large banana plantations (c. 7,000 ha) especially around Changuinola and Guabito, and by areas devoted to cattle and subsistence agriculture. The surrounding area is inhabited primarily by afroantilleans, latinos and Ngöbe. Some Ngöbe live within the reserve. Access within the area is difficult except along water courses.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala||breeding||2006||20 individuals||poor||Near Threatened|
|Garden Emerald Chlorostilbon assimilis||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Rufous-winged Woodpecker Piculus simplex||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker Celeus castaneus||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-collared Manakin Manacus candei||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Lovely Cotinga Cotinga amabilis||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Three-wattled Bellbird Procnias tricarunculatus||unknown||2006||-||poor||A1||Vulnerable|
|Snowy Cotinga Carpodectes nitidus||unknown||2006||-||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Bare-necked Umbrellabird Cephalopterus glabricollis||unknown||2006||1 individuals||unknown||Endangered|
|Black-crowned Antpitta Pittasoma michleri||unknown||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Black-throated Wren Thryothorus atrogularis||unknown||2006||-||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera||winter||2006||uncommon individuals||poor||A1||Near Threatened|
|Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius montezuma||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Black-cowled Oriole Icterus prosthemelas||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Nicaraguan Seed-finch Oryzoborus nuttingi||unknown||2006||-||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Crimson-collared Tanager Ramphocelus sanguinolentus||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Scarlet-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sulphur-rumped Tanager Heterospingus rubrifrons||unknown||2006||-||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi||unknown||2006||-||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|San San - Pond Sak||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||16,414||is identical to site||16,414|
|San San Pond Sak||Wetland of International Importance||16,987||protected area contains site||16,414|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Other biodiversity Mammals known or probable for the area include Water Opossum, Central American Wooly Opossum, White-winged Vampire Bat, Thumbless Bat, Honduran White Bat, Crab-eating Racoon, Olingo, Neotropical River Otter, Ocelot, Margay, Jaguarundi, Puma, Jaguar and Baird's Tapir (Handley 1966, 1980, Valdespino and Santamaría 1997, Martínez pers. com.). The site has the densest population of West Indian Manatee in Panama (Mou and Chan 1990). Changuinola Beach, at the mouth of the Changuinola River, is a regionally important nesting area for Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles (Meylan et al. 1993). Other reptiles and amphibians include the frogs Dendrobates pumilio, Eleutherodactylus gollmeri* and E. noblei, the caecilian Gymnopis multiplicata, the lizards Diploglossus bilobatus* and Anolis insignis,* the snakes Urotheca pachyura* and Micrurus alleni, the turtle Kinosternon angustipons, and American Crocodile (Valdespino and Santamaría 1997 and literature).
Management considerations Large amounts of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are used in banana cultivation in areas that drain into the San San and Changuinola Rivers, although actual data on contamination levels are lacking. Raw sewage and slaughterhouse and industrial waste from Changuinola enters the Changuinola River (Rodríguez et al. 1993, Valdespino and Santamaría 1997). Some of the land in the site is privately owned, causing conflict between development and conservation interests. In early 2000 a road was illegally constructed into the area in as part of a proposed tourism development, but the developer was fined by ANAM and it was decided to eliminate the road. A concession for the extraction of peat within the area was been granted to the Changuinola Peat Company by the Panamanian government, but the project was never initiated. More pressure for development is inevitable. The recent completion of a road linking Almirante and Changuinola to the rest of Panama is likely to increase colonization and deforestation pressure throughout the province.
Protection status San San Pond Sak was designated an Internationally Important Wetland under the Ramsar Convention in 1994. However, there are no park guards assigned to the area and hence little effective protection from illegal hunting and fishing, timber extraction, charcoal making, and clearing and burning for subsistence agriculture (although most of the area is unsuitable for farming). San San Pond Sak is contiguous with the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica (Franke 1993).
Conservation response None known for birds. Some studies of nesting sea turtles have been conducted in the coastal areas.
References Angehr, George R. 2003. Directorio de areas importantes para aves en Panama. Directory of important bird areas in Panama. Panama: Sociedad Audubon de Panama. Delgado, Francisco. 1985. Panama. In: Derek A. Scott & Montserrat Carbonell (compilers), A Directory of Neotropical Wetlands, pp. 420-438. IUCN, Cambridge, U.K. Franke, Joseph. 1993. Costa Rica’s National Parks and Preserves. Mountaineers, Seattle. Kennard, F. H. & J. L.Peters. 1928. A collection of birds from the Almirante Bay region in Panama. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History 38: 443-465. Meylen, Anne, Peter Meylen, & Argelis Ruiz Guevara. 1993. Las tortugas marinas en las islas de Bocas del Toro. En/in: Stanley Heckadon-Moreno (ed.), Agenda Ecológica y Social para Bocas del Toro, pp 49-54. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama. Mou Luís, & David Chan. 1990. Estado actual y distri-bución de la población de manati (Trichechus mana-tus) en Panamá, con énfasis en la provincia de Bocas del Toro. IUCN, Costa Rica. Olson, Storrs L. 1993. Contributions to avian biogeography from the Archipelago and lowlands of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Auk 110:100-108. Peters, James L. 1931. Additional notes on the birds of the Almirante Bay region of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 71:310-345. Ridgely, Robert S., and John A. Gwynne. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama (Second Edition). Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. Valdespino, Iván A., and Dilia Santamaría (eds). 1997. Evaluación Ecológica Rápida del Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos y Áreas de Influencia, Isla Solarte, Swan Cay, Mimitimbi (Isla Colón) y el Humedal San San-Pond Sak, Provincia de Bocas del Toro. Tomo 1: Recursos Terrestres. ANCON, Panama. Wetmore, Alexander. 1965. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Part 1. Tinamidae (Tinamous) to Rhynchopidae (Skimmers). Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Wetmore, Alexander. 1968. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Part 2. Columbidae (Pigeons) to Picidae (Woodpeckers). Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Wetmore, Alexander. 1973. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Part 3. Passeriformes: Dendrocolaptidae (Woodcreepers) to Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill). Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Wetmore, Alexander, Roger F. Pasquier, and Storrs L. Olson. 1984. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Part 4. Passeriformes: Hirundinidae (Swallows) to Fringillidae (Finches). Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
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