Master’s Student Researcher
Arlet Quiros-Calvo

Project Funding and Partners
Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund
Osa Conservation: Alvaro Ugalde Scholarship Fund
Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED)

Project Overview and Objectives

The Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager (Habia atrimaxillaris) is the only Costa Rican endemic species with an historic distribution restricted to the Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA). Less than half of this area is still covered by forest, mostly concentrated in Corcovado and Piedras Blancas National Parks. The adjacent Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve (GDFR) is a patchwork mosaic of lowland mixed forest, hardwood plantations, pasture and crops, much of which encompasses the expansion of African oil palm, forming the landscape matrix outside these two parks. The transition from intact national park forest to cleared and degraded lands outside of the protected area system has left the moderately protected GDFR in a precarious, increasingly fragmented situation between these extremes.

Project Objectives

This project seeks to determine the population status, the habitat and nest site requirements associated with H. atrimaxillaris and understand reproductive behaviors along an elevational gradient that extends from intact mature forests bordering Corcovado NP down through the secondary transitional forests of the GDFR.  The area of study has verified observations of the species especially at higher elevations.  This research fits within the GDFR management guidelines for the conservation of H. atrimaxillaris as a priority species for SINAC-ACOSA.