Neotropical Flyways Project

Neotropical Flyways Project

We're Losing Them

With more species that the United States and Canada combined, Panama has an amazing diversity of birds! But we share several of these species with North America: more than 60 species of birds found in Panama, representing combined populations of more than a billion individuals, are Neotropical migratory birds that travel between North and South America every year. Neotropical migrants are essential for the health of ecosystems because they provide valuable services like pest control. However, many populations of migratory birds have drastically declined over the past few decades, especially those which travel the furthest.

These birds have been well-studied in their breeding and wintering grounds, but we know very little about their lives during migration even though it's when the majority of mortality occurs! The Neotropical Flyways Project was created to fill this critical gap in our knowledge by identifying key migration routes and stopover sites in Central and South America.

Although Panama is a small part of the total project, it is a uniquely interesting location for studying migration. The narrow geography creates a bottleneck for migration routes between North and South America, while the diversity of habitats offers a variety of places to rest and recover.

We're Losing Them

With more species that the United States and Canada combined, Panama has an amazing diversity of birds! But we share several of these species with North America: more than 60 species of birds found in Panama, representing combined populations of more than a billion individuals, are Neotropical migratory birds that travel between North and South America every year. Neotropical migrants are essential for the health of ecosystems because they provide valuable services like pest control. However, many populations of migratory birds have drastically declined over the past few decades, especially those which travel the furthest.

These birds have been well-studied in their breeding and wintering grounds, but we know very little about their lives during migration even though it's when the majority of mortality occurs! The Neotropical Flyways Project was created to fill this critical gap in our knowledge by identifying key migration routes and stopover sites in Central and South America.

Although Panama is a small part of the total project, it is a uniquely interesting location for studying migration. The narrow geography creates a bottleneck for migration routes between North and South America, while the diversity of habitats offers a variety of places to rest and recover.

We're Losing Them

With more species that the United States and Canada combined, Panama has an amazing diversity of birds! But we share several of these species with North America: more than 60 species of birds found in Panama, representing combined populations of more than a billion individuals, are Neotropical migratory birds that travel between North and South America every year. Neotropical migrants are essential for the health of ecosystems because they provide valuable services like pest control. However, many populations of migratory birds have drastically declined over the past few decades, especially those which travel the furthest.

These birds have been well-studied in their breeding and wintering grounds, but we know very little about their lives during migration even though it's when the majority of mortality occurs! The Neotropical Flyways Project was created to fill this critical gap in our knowledge by identifying key migration routes and stopover sites in Central and South America.

Although Panama is a small part of the total project, it is a uniquely interesting location for studying migration. The narrow geography creates a bottleneck for migration routes between North and South America, while the diversity of habitats offers a variety of places to rest and recover.

Our Field Team

Our Field Team

Chelina Batista

Guido Berguido

Jorge Garzón

Eiser Garcia

Gumercindo Pimentel

Luis Paz

Jacobo Ortega

Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) encountered during a bird survey in Cerro Chucantí.

Project Objectives

  1. To quickly discover and map key stopover sites for migratory birds
  2. To determine the quality of habitat and the behavior of birds in these sites
  3. To develop conservation strategies for key sites
  4. Training and capacity building between managers and biologists to protect important sites and continue long-term monitoring.

Project Objectives

  1. To quickly discover and map key stopover sites for migratory birds
  2. To determine the quality of habitat and the behavior of birds in these sites
  3. To develop conservation strategies for key sites
  4. Training and capacity building between managers and biologists to protect important sites and continue long-term monitoring.

About Migration

Why do some birds fly so far while others only live in one place throughout their lives? The short answer is for food, but it's a bit more complicated than that.

About Migration

Why do some birds fly so far while others only live in one place throughout their lives? The short answer is for food, but it's a bit more complicated than that.

Results at a Glance

Results at a Glance

Occupation surveys of migratory birds thus far have shown that Panama is a highly strategic region for many migration routes! Early-arriving species seem to be making stopovers in Panama, particularly Western Wood-Peewees (Contopus sordidulus), Canada Warblers (Cardellina canadensis) and Blackburnian Warblers (Setophaga fusca).

250.000 +

250.000 +

Individuals Recorded

63

63

Species

3

3

Threatened Species

You can help!

Migratory birds are shared across many countries, so we all have the responsibility to protect them. Fortunately, there's a lot we can do! Depending on where you live, there are different methods we can utilize to support healthy populations of migratory birds in our communities.

You can help!

Migratory birds are shared across many countries, so we all have the responsibility to protect them. Fortunately, there's a lot we can do! Depending on where you live, there are different methods we can utilize to support healthy populations of migratory birds in our communities.

More About the Project

More About the Project

This project is led by the Colombian NGO SELVA and the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. For more information about the project, including migration maps for various species, what's happening in other countries, the methods we use to study birds, and published results, click here: https://neotropicalflyways.com/