Mil Cumbres

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
Mil Cumbres IBA embraces a complex landscape within the municipalities of Los Palacios, La Palma and Bahía Honda, in Pinar del Río province. The landscape comprises agricultural plains, karst valleys, mojotes, slate cliffs, sinkholes, sulphur springs and hills, and includes the Sierra de los Órganos, Sierra del Pan de Guajaibón, and the Cajálbana Plateau. The IBA protects an important aquifer and the catchment areas of the San Marcos and San Diego rivers.

Key biodiversity
This IBA supports 32 biome-restricted species, 15 of which are Cuba endemics and 11 globally threatened birds. The Endangered Blue-headed Quail-dove Starnoenas cyanocephala, Giant Kingbird Tyrannus cubensis, and Gundlach’s Hawk Accipiter gundlachi occur and the area is particularly important for the Vulnerable Fernandina’s Flicker Colaptes fernandinae, and Near Threatened Painted Bunting Passerina ciris, Cuban Solitaire Myadestes elisabeth, and Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata.

Non-bird biodiversity: The herpetofauna includes the Critically Endangered frog Eleutherodactylus symingtoni and other Pinar del Río endemics Anolis vermiculatus and A. bartschi. Mammals include the hutias Mysateles prehensilis and Capromys pilorides, and 10 bat species. Two locally endemic freshwater fish are also present. Of a flora with 1,143 species, 52 are endemic to Cajálbana and 24 to Sierra de la Güira.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Mil Cumbres IBA is a Managed Resources Protected Area created in 1976. It is currently awaiting approval to be included as a site of national significance in the National System of Protected Areas. It is administered by the Empresa para la Protección de la Flora y la Fauna (EPFF). Since the late nineteenth century, this area has suffered from excessive forest exploitation (for timber) and clearance of lands for agriculture and livestock farming. Only the highest (least accessible) areas have retained their forest cover. In spite of this, a species-rich flora, diverse fauna, and attractive landscapes still remain in the area. Among the main threats are illegal hunting and logging, uncontrolled grazing, and the use of agrochemicals in the tobacco plantations. The presence of nearby mineral reserves and an active timber industry will maintain pressure on the area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mil Cumbres. Downloaded from on 23/01/2021.