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Location Panama
Central coordinates 81o 33.00' West  9o 6.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 400 ha
Altitude 0 - 13m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Sociedad Audubon de Panamá

Site description Escudo de Veraguas is a small (400 ha) island located 17.6 km off the coast of the Valiente Peninsula, approximately 4 km long by 1.5 km wide. Access for much of the year is difficult due to sea conditions.

Key Biodiversity The Escudo Hummingbird (Wetmore 1968) is restricted to the island. Of the nine resident land birds, three are represented by endemic subspecies. Three-wattled Bellbird apparently occurs regularly on the island. These are most likely post-breeding dispersers from the highlands, but breeding is not out of the question. Uniform Crake is abundant on the island. Brown Boobies nest on islets off the western side, one of only three breeding sites on the Caribbean side of Panama (Wetmore 1959, Handley 1993).

Non-bird biodiversity: There are three other species of endemic vertebrates: Escudo Fruit-eating Bat Artibeus incomitatus, Pygmy Sloth Bradypus pygmaeus, and the salamander Oedipina maritima. There is also an endemic supspecies of Armored Rat (Hoplomys). The frog Eleutherodactylus rugulosus also occurs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala breeding  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Amazilia handleyi breeding  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Escudo de Veraguas Protected Landscape 40,500 protected area contains site 400  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove  major
Coastline   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
hunting minor
tourism/recreation minor
fisheries/aquaculture major

Protection status The island is unprotected. However, discussions are underway to include it in the Damani Wetlands of International Importance.

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. Handley, Charles O., Jr. 1993. Conservación de la flora y fauna en las islas de Bocas del Toro. In: Heckadon-Moreno, Stanley (ed.), Agenda Ecológica y Social para Bocas del Toro pp 43-48. Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales, Panamá Ciudad, Panamá. Wetmore, Alexander. 1959a. The birds of Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Panamá. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 139:1-27. 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.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Isla Escudo de Veraguas (Escudo de Veraguas Island IBA). Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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