Bird Conservation International



The Chimalapas Region, Oaxaca, Mexico: a high-priority region for bird conservation in Mesoamerica


A. Townsend Peterson a1, Adolfo G. Navarro-Sigüenza a2, Blanca E. Hernández-Baños a2, Griselda Escalona-Segura a3, Fanny Rebón-Gallardo a2, Emir Rodríguez-Ayala a2, Elsa M. Figueroa-Esquivel a2 and Leonardo Cabrera-García a4
a1 Natural History Museum, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, U.S.A.
a2 Museo de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México
a3 Museo de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México and Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) Unidad Campeche, Campeche, Mexico
a4 Museo de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México and Laboratorio de Biogeografía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, México

Article author query
peterson at   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
navarro-siguenza ag   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hernandez-banos be   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
escalona-segura g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rebon-gallardo f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rodriguez-ayala e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
figueroa-esquivel em   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cabrera-garcia l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

The Chimalapas region, in eastern Oaxaca, Mexico, holds lowland rainforests, tropical dry forests, and cloud forests typical of the Neotropics, as well as montane pine and pine-oak forests more typical of the Nearctic. Totaling more than 600,000 ha, much of the region is forested, and in a good state of preservation. The Chimalapas avifauna is by far the most diverse for any region of comparable size in the country, totalling at least 464 species in the region as a whole (with more than 300 species in the lowland rainforest) representing 44% of the bird species known from Mexico. Within the region, the humid Atlantic lowlands hold 317 species, the montane regions 113 species, and the southern dry forested lowlands 216 species. Important species present in the region include Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja and several other large eagles, Black Penelopina nigra and probably Horned Oreophasis derbianus Guans, Scarlet Macaw Ara macao, Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow Aimophila sumichrasti, Rose-bellied Bunting Passerina rositae, and Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno. The area holds immense lowland rainforests and cloud forests that rank among the largest and best preserved in all of Mesoamerica, including a complete lowland-to-highland continuum, with entire watersheds preserved more or less intact.

(Received April 4 2001)
(Revision accepted January 16 2003)