Golfo de los Mosquitos Forests, Panama
KBA status: confirmed
Rationale for qualifying as KBA: This site contains the entire known population of Andinobates geminisae. An additional 10 species of bird meet threatened and/or restricted range criteria and the Golden-winged Warbler meets legacy KBA criteria.
This site includes the largest block of lowland forest on the Caribbean slope between Bocas de Toro and San Blas. From the eastern side of the CalovÃ©bora valley in Veraguas, nearly continuous forest extends from the coast inland to the central cordillera across the watersheds of the GuÃ¡zaro, ConcepciÃ³n, Veraguas, and BelÃ©n Rivers. Inland the IBA is contiguous with Santa Fe National Park and Omar Torrijos National Park. To the east, in ColÃ³n and CoclÃ© provinces forest is found in the watersheds of the Petaquilla and Caimito Rivers and the lower courses of the CoclÃ© 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 BuglÃ© 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 CoclÃ© del Norte River, and most of the region is inaccessible except by sea. About 20,000 ha, or 10% of the area as defined, is deforested, mostly along the CoclÃ© del Norte River and the lower courses of other rivers. The western border is adjacent to the NgÃ¶be-BuglÃ© Comarca, while the eastern border is an expanding colonization frontier for cattle and subsistence agriculture. Recent improvement of the road from Santa Fe to CalovÃ©bora is likely to increase colonization in the western part of the area. A large copper concession at Cerro Petaquilla north of Coclecito has been explored mineralogically, but current low copper prices make development unlikely in the near future. Development of the site would require a large open-pit mine, connected by road to Coclecito and to new port facilities on the Caribbean. The Panama Canal Authority previously proposed the construction of a large reservoir on the CoclÃ© de Norte River that would flood forested areas (and other reservoirs on the Miguel de la Borda and Indio Rivers in deforested land to the east), in order to supply additional water for the operation of the Panama Canal. However, these plans have now been dropped. The most serious long-term threat to the area is uncontrolled colonization. Any future development of mineral or hydrological resources should require the commitment of financial resources to protect the remaining forests of the region. It would be desirable to add these lowland forests to the highlands now protected by Santa Fe and Omar Torrijos National Parks.
|IUCN Habitat||Coverage level||Coverage %||Habitat detail|
|14. Artificial - Terrestrial||-|
|Threat level 1||Threat level 2||Threat level 3||Timing||Scope||Severity||Impact|
|2 Agriculture & aquaculture||2.1 Annual & perennial non-timber crops||2.1.2 Small-holder farming||Ongoing||Affects the minority of the population (<50%)||Medium|
|3 Energy production & mining||3.2 Mining & quarrying||Ongoing||Affects the minority of the population (<50%)||High|
|4 Transportation & service corridors||4.1 Roads & railroads||Only in the future||Affects the minority of the population (<50%)||Causing or likely to cause very rapid declines (>30% over 10 years or three generations; whichever is the longer)||Medium|
|5 Biological resource use||5.1 Hunting & collecting terrestrial animals||5.1.1 Intentional use (species being assessed is the target)||Ongoing||Affects the minority of the population (<50%)||Medium|
|6 Human intrusions & disturbance||6.3 Work & other activities||Ongoing||Affects the minority of the population (<50%)||Medium|