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Avian Diversity in El Salvador

Oliver Komar
The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 110, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 511-533
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164000
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Avian Diversity in El Salvador
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Abstract

Recent field studies have revealed many species of birds new for El Salvador suggesting that the country's few protected areas may be especially important for conserving regional biodiversity. Seventeen percent of the landscape or 359,000 ha is covered with natural forest or scrub habitats, of which 38,000 ha are coastal mangrove forests. An additional 196,000 ha (9% of El Salvador) are coffee plantations, a forest-like habitat used by many birds. Of 508 bird species known to occur in the country, 310 are breeding residents; the others are migratory visitors, transients, or vagrants. Seventeen species occurring in El Salvador are endemic to the highlands of northern Central America and one species is endemic to the Pacific slope lowlands of northern Central America. About 270 species are habitat specialists with highly restricted ranges within El Salvador. In all, 254 species (>50% of the avifauna) are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, hunting, and exploitation for the pet trade. Of these, 117 are in danger of extinction at the national level and three are believed already extirpated. Much additional field work is needed to understand the status and abundance of El Salvador's birds. This report includes a complete list of reported species with classification of residency status, threatened status, and distribution. This list can serve as a resource for interpreting field observations produced by environmental impact studies or conservation projects in El Salvador. A second list includes 73 species that probably occur in El Salvador but have not been reported.

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