Home Institution

University of Illinois at Chicago

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation


This report summarizes the survey of land and avian diversity along a transect that runs from the exterior to the interior of the Los Quetzales Trail of Parque Nacional Volcán Barú in Cerro Punta, Chiriquí, Panamá. The region of Cerro Punta is Panamá’s primary producer of produce and also home to one of the most biodiverse land reserves in the world. Despite protection efforts the area is continuously threatened by human development. The study juxtaposes calculated Shannon-Wiener Biodiversity Indices across graduated levels of anthropogenic disturbance to determine if there is a significant difference in biodiversity between areas with low, intermediate, and high disturbance. Surveys were conducted using a Timed Species Count (TSC) and rapid vegetation assessments. Analysis revealed that although there is not significant difference in biodiversity between areas with low and intermediate disturbance, there is a significant different between the biodiversity of both low and intermediate disturbed areas and the biodiversity of highly disturbed areas. Due to its small scale, these conclusions are limited to the area of investigation. However, this information may be helpful to conservationists hoping to preserve the diversity in Cerro Punta and along the Los Quetzales Trail.


Agricultural Science | Agriculture | Biosecurity | Community-Based Research | Environmental Health | Environmental Studies | Latin American Studies | Other Plant Sciences | Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health | Plant Sciences


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