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Location Panama, Comarca Ngöbe-Buglé
Central coordinates 81o 47.00' West  8o 32.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 63,000 ha
Altitude 1,200 - 2,520m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Sociedad Audubon de Panamá



Site description This IBA includes the highest peaks in the center of the Tabasará range (Serranía de Tabasará), the eastern extension of the Talamanca massif. As defined, it consists of the area above 1,200 m around Cerro Santiago (2,121 m), Cerro Sagui (Cerro Ratón) to its northwest (2,520 m), and two peaks (2,292 and 1,945 m), unnamed on available maps, to its northeast. The area extends approximately 50 km along the continental divide above the towns of Las Lajas, Remedios and Tolé, and incorporates the upper watersheds of the Fonseca, San Félix and Tabasará Rivers on the Pacific slope, and the Manantí and Cricamola on the Caribbean. The area is almost exclusively populated by Ngöbe and some Buglé, on both the Pacific and Caribbean slope, and is the center of their Comarca (indigenous reserve). Although a road extends into the area near the Cerro Colorado copper mine above Hato Chamí, access to intact forest is difficult.

Key Biodiversity This IBA includes the core of the presumed range of two globally threatened endemic species with extremely limited distributions. Glow-throated Hummingbird is known only from this locality and from above Santa Fe, Veraguas about 70 km to the east. Yellow-green Finch is known from here, the Fortuna Forest Reserve, and from Santa Fe National Park above Chitra, Veraguas, giving the specie a longitudinal range of about 150 km. Both species were collected at Cerro Santiago by Griscom in 1924, and in recent years have been found regularly in emnant patches of forest and scrub on the road above Hato Chamí above 1,500 m, although usually in small numbers. The site contains 29 of 54 species (54%) of the Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA, and 29 of 68 species (43%) of biome N06. However, the area is so poorly known ornithologically that many others likely occur. The Tabasará range is also an area of subspecific endemism. Twelve subspecies are apparently restricted to it, five of which are known from Cerro Santiago. The area remains very poorly known ornithologically. The cloud forest in particular is nearly unknown, having only been surveyed for two days in 1924 (Griscom 1924).

Non-bird biodiversity: The fauna in general is very poorly known. Many of the mammals, reptiles and amphibians recorded at Fortuna Forest Reserve and Santa Fé National Park are likely to occur. Long-tailed Rice Rat (Méndez 1993) and the frogs Gastrotheca nicefori, Hyla graceae and H. rivularis (Myers and Duellman 1982) have been recorded.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Prong-billed Barbet Semnornis frantzii unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black Guan Chamaepetes unicolor breeding  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Black-breasted Wood-quail Odontophorus leucolaemus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Buff-fronted Quail-dove Zentrygon costaricensis unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Chiriqui Quail-dove Zentrygon chiriquensis unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bare-shanked Screech-owl Megascops clarkii unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Nightjar Antrostomus saturatus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Glow-throated Hummingbird Selasphorus ardens breeding  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Fiery-throated Hummingbird Panterpe insignis unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Emerald Elvira chionura unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Purple-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis calolaemus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Scintillant Hummingbird Selasphorus scintilla unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Trogon aurantiiventris unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Not Recognised 
Bare-necked Umbrellabird Cephalopterus glabricollis breeding  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Silvery-fronted Tapaculo Scytalopus argentifrons unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Streak-breasted Treehunter Thripadectes rufobrunneus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-winged Vireo Vireo carmioli unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher Phainoptila melanoxantha unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Ochraceous Wren Troglodytes ochraceus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-faced Solitaire Myadestes melanops unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-billed Nightingale-thrush Catharus gracilirostris unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Collared Redstart Myioborus torquatus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Sooty-faced Finch Arremon crassirostris unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-green Finch Pselliophorus luteoviridis breeding  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Blue-and-gold Tanager Bangsia arcaei breeding  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Spangle-cheeked Tanager Tangara dowii unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Slaty Flowerpiercer Diglossa plumbea unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Sooty-capped Bush-tanager Chlorospingus pileatus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high unfavourable negligible
Habitat
Unknown

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Forest   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Forest   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland minor
agriculture minor

Protection status Part of the area has been designated as a reserve by local Ngöbe communities, and ratification by the Comarca government as a whole is under discussion. The Panama Audubon Society is working with the Comarca government in planning a possible reserve.

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. Griscom, Ludlow. 1924. Bird hunting among the wild Indians of western Panama. Natural History 24: 509-519. Méndez, Eustorgio. 1970. Los Principales Mamíferos Silvestres de Panamá. Edición privada/privately printed, Panamá. Myers, Charles W. & William E. Duellman. 1982. A new species of Hyla from Cerro Colorado, and other tree frog records and geographical notes from western Panama. American Museum Novitates No. 2752: 1-32. Ridgely, Robert S., and John A. Gwynne. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama (Second Edition). Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 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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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cerro Santiago. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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