Bird Monitoring in the BCNM

Program Directors: Dr. WD Robinson and Dr. T Robinson

The ESP Bird Monitoring in the BCNM Program was initiated by W. Douglas Robinson and Tara R. Robinson of Oregon State University and their graduate students in 2000.

Our objectives have been:
  1. Track annual population fluctuations on BCI and the Gigante peninsula
  2. Conduct annual species inventories on BCI and Gigante
  3. Inventory bird species richness on all the peninsulas in the BCNM
  4. Compare reproductive success of birds on BCI and Gigante to evaluate nest predation as a possible cause of bird extinctions from BCI
  5. Estimate annual survivorship of birds on BCI
We visit 50 permanent survey stations on BCI and 25 on Gigante each year to track bird abundances. We supplement these surveys with other field surveys designed to locate as many bird species as possible, focusing on Gigante and BCI. In 2000 and 2001, we found and monitored more than 600 bird nests and discovered that nest predation on BCI is not higher than that experienced by birds nesting on the nearby mainland. We initiated an intensive mistnetting effort on BCI in January, 2005, to evaluate annual survival of birds and to allow us to estimate gene flow of birds living on BCI.


Recent publications: Robinson, W.D. 1999. Long-term changes in the avifauna of a tropical forest isolate, Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Conservation Biology 13:85-97.

Condit, R., W. D. Robinson, R. Ibanez, et al. 2001. The status of the Panama Canal Watershed and its biodiversity at the beginning of the 21 st century. BioScience 51:135-144.

Robinson, W. D. 2001. Changes in abundances of birds in a Neotropical forest fragment over 25 years. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 24(2):51-65.

Robinson, W.D., G. Angehr, T.R. Robinson, L.J. Petit, D. R. Petit, and J.D. Brawn. 2004. Distribution of bird diversity in a vulnerable Neotropical landscape. Conservation Biology 18(2):510-518.

Stratford , J. A., and W. D. Robinson. 2005. Gulliver travels to the fragmented tropics: Geographic variation in mechanisms of avian extinction. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 3(2):85-92.

Robinson, W. D., G. R. Rompre, and T. R. Robinson. 2005. Videography of Panama bird nests shows snakes are principal predators. Ornitologia Neotropical 16:187-195.

Rompre, G. R., W. D. Robinson, A. Desrochers, and G. Angehr. 2007. Environmental correlates of avian species richness in a tropical landscape. Journal of Biogeography 34:802-815