Santa Clara

Country/territory: Panama

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2003)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 9,000 ha

Sociedad Audubon de Panam√°

Site description (baseline)
This site consists of agricultural lands and remnant patches of montane and high montane forest above the town of Santa Clara, from 1,200 m up to the lower limit of La Amistad International Park at 2,000-2,200 m.

Key biodiversity
Globally threatened and near-threatened species include Black Guan, Red-fronted Parrotlet, Turquoise Cotinga, and Three-wattled Bellbird. Santa Clara is an area of altitudinal overlap between the South Central American Pacific Slope and Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBAs, containing 8 of 16 species (50%) of the former and 26 of 54 species (48%) of the latter, as well as 26 of 68 species (38%) of biome N06. It is particularly important for species of the South Central American Pacific Slope, here at the upper limits of their ranges, since virtually all the intervening forest between 1,200 m and the fragments of the Burica Peninsula has been converted to cattle pasture. This is the only area in Panama where the globally threatened Turquoise Cotinga is regularly found. Other species of the Pacific Slope EBA include Fiery-billed Aracari (common), Cherrie's Tanager, Spot-crowned Euphonia (both fairly common), White-crested Coquette, Charming Hummingbird and Riverside Wren (all rare). There has been only one recent report of Golden-naped Woodpecker from the area, at a somewhat lower elevation. Baird's Trogon formerly occurred but now appears to be extirpated, with the last known record in 1958.

Non-bird biodiversity: Blackish Small-eared Shrew and Hartmann's Water Mouse have been collected in the area, and Central American Wooly Opossum, Chiriqui Pocket Gopher, Chiriqui Singing Mouse, Chiriqui Harvest Mouse, Naked-footed Deer Mouse, Mexican Porcupine, Olingo and several species of cats probably occur. The reptile and amphibian fauna is poorly known but many of the of the species listed for La Amistad International Park undoubtedly occur. The frogs Hyla rivularis, H. tica, Ptychohyla legleri and Eleutherodactylus rugulosus have been recorded.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Santa Clara. Downloaded from on 30/05/2023.