Avian Diversity in the Moskitia Region of Honduras

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The Moskitia region of northeastern Honduras has long been suspected of supporting high avian diversity, due to the diversity and large expanse of habitats, some with little or no known history of large-scale human disturbance. We have drawn on recent field studies combined with historic data to report on 358 species for this region, more than twice the number of species previously reported. This number represents half the total number of bird species found in Honduras. A total of 65 species are restricted to mature lowland broadleaf forest and susceptible to habitat loss throughout Central America. Five species are recognized as deserving conservation concern and one is regionally range-restricted (endemic). We include a complete list of reported species giving the residency status, threatened status, frequency of observation, and method of substantiation. A second list includes 145 species that likely occur in the Honduran Moskitia but have not yet been reported. We conclude that the Honduran Moskitia is especially important for conserving regional biodiversity. Meanwhile, much additional fieldwork is needed to understand the status and abundance of birds in northeastern Honduras.

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