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Location Panama, Chiriquí
Central coordinates 83o 1.00' West  8o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 150 - 689m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Sociedad Audubon de Panamá

Site description El Chorogo is the largest area of intact forest remaining in Pacific western Panama below 1,000 m. The forest extends for approximately 10 km along the ridge forming the Panama-Costa Rica border, 11 km west of Puerto Armuelles, at the headwaters of the San Bartolo and Palo Blanco Rivers. The remaining forest is found mainly from 500 m to the top of the ridge at 689 m, but with a few outlying extensions in valleys down to 300 m, and mostly within 500-1000 m of the Costa Rican border. The IBA includes several smaller isolated fragments lower in the valleys, in particular a patch of c. 200 ha about 2 km east, in a steep-sided canyon (150-400 m) of the Palo Blanco River. The terrain is rugged. Although primitive roads extend to the site, they are not maintained, so access is usually on foot or on horseback.

Key Biodiversity El Chorogo contains the best remaining example of the original avifauna of the western Pacific lowlands of Panama. This is the best site in Panama for the globally near-threatened and nationally critically endangered Baird's Trogon. The globally threatened Turquoise and Yellow-billed Cotingas have been recorded, but are rare, with only a few records each. The globally threatened Three-wattled Bellbird is common at least seasonally on the ridgetops, and the near-threatened Great Curassow occurs. Among nationally endangered species (in addition to Baird's Trogon), this is the best remaining site for White-crested Coquette, Golden-naped Woodpecker, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, and Spot-crowned Euphonia. El Chorogo is the only site in Panama where most of the species of the South Central American Pacific Slope EBA still occur together. It contains 13 of 16 species (81%) of this EBA, as well as 19 of 42 species (45%) of biome N05. Several nationally threatened subspecies are also found here. The site is ornithologically well known, having been visited at least annually since the first survey in 1995 (Angehr unpublished data).

Non-bird biodiversity: There is little information on fauna at the site other than birds. The globally endangered Red-backed Squirrel Monkey is fairly common. Central American Wooly Opossum, Silky Anteater, Central American Spider Monkey, Neotropical River Otter, Olingo, Ocelot, Margay and Jaguarundi also occur (Rodríguez 2000, A. Rodríguez pers. com.). Underwood's Pocket Gopher has recently been collected on the Burica Peninsula (R. Samudio, pers. com.) and could occur. Reptiles and amphibians include the frogs Colosthetus flotator and Eleutherodactylus noblei,* the salamander Bolitoglossa lignicolor, and the lizards Anolis polylepis and Leposoma southi (ANCON 1997). Several other species known from the Puerto Armuelles area probably occur; see accounts for Quebrada Mellicita-Charco Azul.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great Curassow Crax rubra breeding  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Costa Rican Swift Chaetura fumosa unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-crested Coquette Lophornis adorabilis unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Garden Emerald Chlorostilbon assimilis unknown  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Charming Hummingbird Amazilia decora unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Baird's Trogon Trogon bairdii breeding  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Fiery-billed Araçari Pteroglossus frantzii unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Golden-naped Woodpecker Melanerpes chrysauchen unknown  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-winged Woodpecker Piculus simplex unknown  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-collared Manakin Manacus aurantiacus unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Turquoise Cotinga Cotinga ridgwayi unknown  2006  unknown  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Yellow-billed Cotinga Carpodectes antoniae unknown  2006  1-10 individuals  unknown  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet Ornithion semiflavum unknown  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi winter  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Black-hooded Antshrike Thamnophilus bridgesi breeding  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina unknown  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Riverside Wren Thryothorus semibadius unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera winter  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
White-throated Shrike-tanager Lanio leucothorax unknown  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Cherrie's Tanager Ramphocelus costaricensis unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla unknown  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Spot-crowned Euphonia Euphonia imitans unknown  2006  unknown  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high near favourable negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   1000 1000 100 90 near favourable

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


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
nature conservation and research minor

Protection status A total of 283 ha have been purchased for private reserves by PAS and its members to date. Creation of a nationally protected area in the area is currently under discussion. On the Costa Rican side, El Chorogo is contiguous with a large block of forest in the Conte Burica Guaymi Indigenous Reserve.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: El Chorogo-Palo Blanco. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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