|Location||Panama, Comarca Kuna Yala (San Blas)|
|Central coordinates||78o 54.00' West 9o 24.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||0 - 899m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information The globally threatened endemic Speckled Ant-shrike occurs, as do the globally near-threatened Crested and Harpy Eagles, Great Curassow, Russet-crowned Quail-Dove, and Blue-and-gold Tanager, as well as many nationally threatened species. The site contains 6 of 15 species (40%) of the Darién Lowlands EBA, as well as a few of the Darién Highlands. There have been ornithological surveys on the Mandinga River, at Cerro Brewster, and at Nusagandi on the El Llano-Cartí Road, but the area is otherwise poorly known.
Site description The Narganá Wildlands Area comprises the district of Narganá (Corregimiento No. 1) in the Comarca (indigenous reserve) of Kuna Yala (San Blas). The area extends from the continental divide to the Caribbean coast, from the headwaters of the Mandinga, Cangandí, and Cartí Grande Rivers in the west, where it is about 18 km wide, to the vicinity of Ticantiquí in the east, where it narrows to about 5 km. The highest point (899 m) is at Cerro Brewster (Diamma-Yala) at the western extremity. The area is contiguous with Chagres National Park in the west. A gravel road crosses the cordillera from El Llano on the Pan-american Highway to near the village of Cartí on the coas.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Great Curassow Crax rubra||breeding||2006||-||poor||A1||Vulnerable|
|Plumbeous Hawk Leucopternis plumbeus||breeding||2006||-||poor||A1||Near Threatened|
|Crested Eagle Morphnus guianensis||breeding||2006||20 individuals||poor||Near Threatened|
|Purplish-backed Quail-dove Geotrygon lawrencii||unknown||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Russet-crowned Quail-dove Geotrygon goldmani||breeding||2006||-||poor||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Great Green Macaw Ara ambiguus||breeding||2006||20 individuals||poor||A1||Endangered|
|Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker Piculus callopterus||unknown||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi||winter||2006||-||poor||A1||Near Threatened|
|Spiny-faced Antshrike Xenornis setifrons||breeding||2006||-||poor||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Black-crowned Antpitta Pittasoma michleri||unknown||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera||winter||2006||-||poor||A1||Near Threatened|
|Cerulean Warbler Dendroica cerulea||passage||2006||-||poor||A1||Vulnerable|
|Blue-and-gold Tanager Bangsia arcaei||breeding||2006||-||poor||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Black-and-yellow Tanager Chrysothlypis chrysomelas||unknown||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Tawny-capped Euphonia Euphonia anneae||unknown||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Chagres||National Park||131,261||protected area is adjacent to site||0|
|Corregimiento del Nargana||Wildlife Refuge||100,000||protected area contained by site||87,800|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Other biodiversity Mammals recorded or probably occurring include Water Opossum, Slaty Mouse Opossum,* Giant Anteater, Silky Anteater, Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo, Geoffroy’s Tamarin, Western Night Monkey, Brown-headed Spider Monkey, Central American Spider Monkey, Panamanian Spiny Pocket-Mouse, Capybara, Crab-eating Raccoon, Bush Dog, Olingo, Neotropical River Otter, Ocelot, Margay, Jaguarundi, Puma, Jaguar, and Baird’s Tapir (Charnley 1985). The reptile and amphibian fauna is poorly known but includes the frogs and toads Colosthetus flotator, C. inguinalis, Minyobates fulgoritus, M. minutus, Phyllomedusa lemur, Eleutherodactylus gollmeri, E. museosus, and E. pardalis, the salamanders Bolitoglossa biseriata and B. schizodactyla, and the lizards Sphaerodactylus lineolatus, Leposoma southi, Ptychoglossus festae, and Anolis poecilopus (Ibáñez 1997e).
Management considerations Although the PEMASKY project initially had great success in fundraising from international donors, such support has declined drastically in recent years. The Kuna population has grown explosively in recent decades, placing increasing pressure on natural resources in the comarca. However, this pressure so far has been much greater on marine resources than on the mainland forests. The offshore islands are a popular tourist destination and there are several small hotels. There is a Kuna-operated lodge and scientific station at Nusagandi. As one of the easiest places to see many Darien endemics, Nusagandi has considerable po-tential for ecotourism, but the facilities are very basic and have not been well-maintained. The road is often difficult and sometimes impassable, but has recently been repaired.
Protection status The Narganá Wildlands Area was established as response by the Kuna to anticipated colonization pressure when the El Llano-Cartí Road began construction in 1970. In 1975 a Kuna agricultural project was established at Nusagandi, where the road crosses into Kuna territory, in order to maintain a permanent presence and deter incursions. When the project failed, it was decided instead to declare the area a reserve under Kuna administration. This status was formally recognized by the Panamanian government in 1994. The area has been divided into several management zones, including a "Natural Zone" (52,055 ha) from the base of the escarpment to the continental divide, devoted to conservation (although Kuna are still allowed to hunt and extract natural resources from this zone); a "Cultural Zone" (52,038 ha on land, 46,341 marine) along the coast and lower rivers, devoted to traditional agriculture and fishing; and small "Special Use"and "Recovery" Zones along the road and in degraded areas (PEMASKY 1990). The area is patrolled and protected by the Kuna themselves.
Conservation response None known currently
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. Blake, John G. 1985. Preliminary Survey of the Birds of San Blas (Comarca de Kuna Yala). Informe no publicado/Unpublished report. Charnley, Susan. 1985. Mammals of the PEMASKY Project Area, San Blas, Panama. PEMASKY/STRI, Panamá. Ibáñez, Roberto (ed.). 1997e. Informe Final de Inventario de Vertebrados Terrestres. Cerro Brewster, Parque Nacional Chagres. USAID/ANAM/STRI, Panamá. PEMASKY. 1990. Comarca de la Biosfera de Kuna Ya-la. Plan General de Manejo y Desarrollo, Resumen Ejecutivo. ANCON/STRI/AEK, Panamá. 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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