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Location Panama, Los Santos
Central coordinates 80o 8.00' West  7o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 1 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Sociedad Audubon de Panamá

Site description The Frailes del Sure are two small precipitous rocky islets seven km off the south coast of the Azuero Peninsula near Venado Beach. The larger is about 200 m long. The islets have little vegetation. Sea conditions and the steep cliffs make landing difficult.

Key Biodiversity This is the only known nesting site in Panama for Sooty Tern (3000 pairs), Bridled Tern (50 pairs) and Brown Noddy (50 pairs). The site is estimated to contain more than 1% of the global population of Bridled Tern. The terns may not breed here on an annual basis, since although many were present in February 1956 and some in March 1962, none were seen in February 1957 (Wetmore 1965, Olson 1997). Peregrine Falcon also occurs.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus breeding  2004-2007  225-500 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised major
Notes: There is an automated lighthouse on the island.

Protection status The site is unprotected. The islands could be given legal protection by a slight extension of the seaward limits of the Cañas Island Wildlife Refuge.

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. Angehr, George R. and James A. Kushlan. Seabird and colonial wadingbird nesting in the Gulf of Panama. Submitted to Waterbirds.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Frailes del Sur Islands. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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