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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


EISERMANN, Knut  and  SCHULZ, Ulrich. Birds of a high-altitude cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2005, vol.53, n.3-4, pp.577-594. ISSN 0034-7744.

The Northern Central American Highlands have been recognized as endemic bird area, but little is known about bird communities in Guatemalan cloud forests. From 1997 to 2001 a total of 142 bird species were recorded between 2 000 and 2 400 masl in cloud forest and agricultural clearings on Montaña Caquipec (Alta Verapaz, Guatemala). The bird community is described based on line transect counts within the forest. Pooling census data from undisturbed and disturbed forest, the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys) was found to be the most abundant species, followed in descending order by the Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus), the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus), the Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens), the Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii), and the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus). Bird communities in undisturbed and disturbed forest were found to be similar (Sørensen similarity index 0.85), indicating low human impact. Of all recorded species, ~27% were Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. The most abundant one was the Wilson’s Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla). The Montaña Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia), and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands. The results presented here will be useful as baseline data for a long-term monitoring. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(3-4): 577-594. Epub 2005 Oct 3.

Keywords : Bird community; cloud forest; conservation; Guatemala; Nearctic-Neotropical migrants; species richness.

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