Golfo de los Mosquitos Forests

Country/territory: Panama

IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 202,000 ha

Sociedad Audubon de Panamá
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2013 high near favourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
This IBA includes the largest block of lowland forest on the Caribbean slope between Bocas de Toro and San Blas. From the eastern side of the Calovébora valley in Veraguas, nearly continuous forest extends from the coast inland to the central cordillera across the watersheds of the Guázaro, Concepción, Veraguas, and Belén Rivers. Inland the IBA is contiguous with Santa Fe National Park and Omar Torrijos National Park. To the east, in Colón and Coclé provinces forest is found in the watersheds of the Petaquilla and Caimito Rivers and the lower courses of the Coclé del Norte, Toabre, and Miguel de la Borda Rivers, but here it does not extend as far inland as the cordillera. The region is very sparsely settled, mainly by Buglé in the west and latinos to the east along the river courses. Usable roads reach the edge of the area only near the Miguel de la Borda river and at Coclecito on the Coclé del Norte River, and most of the region is inaccessible except by sea.

Key biodiversity
The globally threatened, and nationally endangered, Great Green Macaw occurs in the Coclé del Norte valley in the east, and was still reported to be present in the early 1970s in the Calovébora valley in the west. It probably occurs throughout the remoter parts of the area. The globally threatened Bare-necked Umbrellabird and Three-wattled Bellbird undoubtedly occur on seasonal migration from breeding areas in the adjacent highlands. The area is estimated to contain threshold populations of these species and also Great Curassow and Plumbeous Hawk. It contains at least 4 of 11 species (36%) of the Central American Caribbean Slope EBA, and others are likely to occur. The area is very poorly known ornithologically, and surveys, particularly for macaws, are a high priority.

Non-bird biodiversity: There is little definite information on the fauna. Mammals probably include Water Opossum, Central American Wooly Opossum, Silky Anteater, Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo, Spix’s Disk-winged Bat, Geoffroy’s Tamarin, Central American Spider Monkey, Olingo, Neotropical River Otter, Ocelot, Margay, Jaguarundi, Puma, Jaguar, and Baird’s Tapir. Reptiles and amphibians that have been recorded include the frogs Dendrobates pumilio and D. vicentei, the lizards Anolis carpenteri and A. lionotus, and the snake Rhadinaea sargenti.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Golfo de los Mosquitos Forests. Downloaded from on 29/05/2023.