Home Institution

University of Colorado

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation


Elevational gradients are some of the most well-known and researched biological trends. However, how species diversity varies with elevation differs by taxa and location. One hypothesis suggests that bird diversity decreases with increasing elevation in the tropics. In addition, bird diversity may decrease along the forest edge and in areas of increasing disturbance. Therefore, in this study I surveyed avian diversity along an elevational gradient in Santa Fe National Park, Veraguas, Panamá using point-count observations. Thirty-six point-count locations in 3 elevation zones were surveyed between 19 Apr and 29 Apr 2017. Shannon diversity, richness, and evenness were calculated for both species and family, and were compared to elevation and disturbance level (a proxy for the forest edge). Although species diversity did not vary significantly with elevation or disturbance level, family diversity was significantly higher in high elevation regions and areas with a low level of disturbance. Measuring avian diversity along a larger elevational gradient stratified by disturbance level would further investigate the factors influencing bird diversity in Santa Fe National Park.


Animal Sciences | Biodiversity | Latin American Studies | Poultry or Avian Science | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


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