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Location Panama, Los Santos,Veraguas
Central coordinates 80o 46.00' West  7o 17.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 32,557 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,559m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Sociedad Audubon de Panamá

Site description Cerro Hoya National Park encompasses the highest peaks at the southern end of the isolated mountain range that runs along the western Azuero Peninsula. The park extends to the coast between the Restingue and Ventana Rivers, with the highest point being Cerro Hoya (1,559 m). It includes the headwaters of the Varadero, Pavo, Tonosí, and Jobero Rivers on its northern side and many shorter streams on the south. The only part of the park reachable by road is at Restingue at the western end; otherwise access is by foot, horse or boat.

Key Biodiversity The globally threatened Brown-backed Dove, Great Green Macaw, and Three-wattled Bellbird are found, and the near-threatened Great Curassow probably occurs. Cerro Hoya is one of only four known sites for the dove, the others being Coiba National Park, Cébaco Island, and El Montuoso Forest Reserve. Glow-throated Hummingbird may occur, since a Selasphorus hummingbird has been collected here, although the specific identity of the specimen has not yet been confirmed. A few pairs of the nationally endangered Scarlet Macaw may occur. The Cerro Hoya area is the only site for the endemic Azuero Parakeet, which has a global range estimated at only 700 km2. Although presently considered a subspecies of Painted Parakeet, several recent studies have suggested it merits full species status (Joseph 200). Several endemics of the South Central American Pacific Slope EBAs and Costa Rica and Panama Highlands are also found. The area is fairly well known ornithologically, having been the subject of studies by F. Delgado of the University of Panama and a survey by the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and the Panama Audubon Society in 1996. However, additional information is needed about bird distribution at higher elevations.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals probably include Western Night Monkey, Coiba Howler, Central American Spider Monkey, Panamanian Spiny Pocket-Mouse, Darien Harvest Mouse, Neotropical River Otter, Ocelot, Jaguarundi, Puma, and Jaguar. The frog Eleutherodactylus azueroensis has been recorded.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown-backed Dove Leptotila battyi breeding  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Great Green Macaw Ara ambiguus breeding  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A1  Endangered 
Three-wattled Bellbird Procnias tricarunculatus unknown  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera winter  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cerro Hoya National Park 33,342 is identical to site 32,557  


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

Land use

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

Protection status Cerro Hoya National Park was created in 1984, and five park guards are assigned to it.

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. A new subspecies of the Painted Parakeet (Pyrrhura picta) from Panama. in: Buckley, P. A. et al (editors) Neotropical Ornithology, AOU Monograph No. 36., pp. 17-20. Joseph, Leo. 2000. Beginning an end to 63 years of uncertainty: The Neotropical parakeets known as Pyrrhura picta and P. leucotis comprise more than two species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 150: 279-292. 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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Cerro Hoya National Park. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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