At 1,439 meters, Cerro Chucantí is the tallest mountain of the Majé mountain range along the border of the Darién province in eastern Panama, and is located in a key biological transition zone. At these higher altitudes, the stereotypical heat of the tropics is not present. It's cold and very humid, representing a rare habitat known as a cloud forest, and the cloud forest in Chucantí is the only one within 100 km in any direction.
This isolation has allowed the species in Chucantí to evolve separated from other cloud forests in Panama, and many are endemic to Chucantí and cannot be found in any other place in the world. There are also many other species of special concern which live in the Majé mountains, such as the black spider monkey, Ateles fusciceps rufiventris., and Great Curassow, Crax rubra, whose populations are threatened by habitat loss. Cerro Chucantí has also been declared an Important Bird Area according to the Audubon Society of Panama and an Area of High Priority for Endemic Birds (EBA 024: Darién highlands) according to Birdlife International because of species such as the beautiful treerunner, Margarornis bellulus, russet-crowned quail dove, Zentrygon goldmani and varied solitaire, Myadestes coloratus.
Unfortunately, the forests of Chucantí are threatened by deforestation for timber and agriculture. In an effort to save this vital habitat, ADOPTA has bought about 600 hectares of land to create the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve. Explore this page to learn more about our project and contact us if you are interested in traveling to Chucantí.
New Species Discovered in Chucantí
Explore the Reserve
Although it can be difficult, a trip to the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve is a super rewarding experience! The reserve is perfect for both research and birdwatching, and one of the most exceptional locations in Panama.
Today, ADOPTA supports conservation efforts throughout Panama, but our organization was primarily created to support the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve.
When our founder, Guido Berguido, visited Cucantí for the first time in 2003, he was astonished by what he saw. At the higher elevations there were many species of birds such as the beautiful treerunner, Margarornis bellulus and varied solitaire, Myadestes coloratus, which were previously known only from the area around the Colombian border. At the same time, the forests around Chucantí were being rapidly cut down for timber and to create cattle pastures. Something had to be done to stop the madness!
Guido bought the first property to create the Chucantí reserve, and visitors to the new reserve quickly helped Guido to grow the reserve through donations. As the reserve grew, it become clear that it was necessary to have an organization to manage it–thus ADOPTA was born.
Threats & Protection
What do wood, fire, and cows have in common? They are all threats to the environment of Cerro Chucantí.
The conservation of Cerro Chucantí would not be possible without the support of many people. First, we'd like to thank all of the donors who have helped us to buy the land for the reserve–without the reserve we would not be able to save anything. Next, thank you to all who have visited Chucantí throughout the years. Your interest and funds have supported the daily management of the reserve and our rangers. Finally, thank you so much to the researchers who have improved our understanding and identified important species in Chucantí.