Home Institution

University of Kentucky

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Program Name

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation


Direct and indirect effects of warming global temperatures due to climate change are known to cause upwards shifts of the altitudinal ranges of some avian species. Most susceptible to this trend and at risk of riding the “escalator to extinction” are endemic species in tropical montane cloud forests, such as Myioborus torquatus. There are abiotic factors, like temperature, and biotic interactions, such as the presence of its altitudinal neighbor Myioborus miniatus, that limit the altitudinal range of this bird species in the Neotropics. This study measured abundance of M. miniatus and M. torquatus populations at different altitudinal ranges by point count observations. Analysis of the data revealed that there may be changes in preferred altitudinal ranges of both species, as well as a range of altitudinal overlap, implicating competition for resources. There were significant differences in both the population abundances of M. miniatus and M. torquatus at the lower and higher altitudinal ranges of observation. The results serve as preliminary evidence in the upsloping of the lower altitudinal limit of M. torquatus and the upper altitudinal limit of M. miniatus in the western highlands of Panama. Existing literature about the factors influencing altitudinal ranges, impacts of climate change on certain animal species, and ensuing interspecific and intraspecific competition were compiled to elaborate on the possible causes and consequences of shifting M. miniatus and M. torquatus altitudinal ranges.


Biodiversity | Biostatistics | Climate | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Studies | Ornithology | Zoology


Article Location