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Tumaco is a small sandy island c.1 km off the Pacific coast of Nariño department in south-west Colombia (see map, p. 198). It is now covered by the city of Tumaco, the second largest port in this region. Bocagrande is c.10 km west of Tumaco, and is similarly a narrow sandy island, now a major holiday resort (Salaman 1995). Tumaco Seedeater Sporophila insulata (classified as Critical), the threatened endemic species for which this Secondary Area has been identified, was discovered on Tumaco in 1912, but, despite a number of searches, has not been recorded there since (Collar et al. 1992). It was considered possibly extinct until 1994 when it was rediscovered on Bocagrande, six birds being found in a c.4-km stretch of very narrow, raised beach habitat (mainly marram-type grasses and scattered patches of scrub) on the seaward side of the island. Only 1 ha of such habitat was found on Bocagrande, and the development of the Bocagrande tourist resort threatens the species' survival, with regular clearance and burning of scrub for beach cabins having a profound effect on remaining likely habitat (Salaman 1995).
Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
Threat and conservation
BirdLife International (2021) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Tumaco and Bocagrande Islands. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/09/2021.