Panama PLUMAS Project
The PLUMAS (Precipitation and Land-Use effects on Multiple Avian Species) Project investigates the impacts of forest fragmentation and local climatic variation on bird species in Panama. Forest fragmentation and climate together may pose underappreciated threats in tropical bird species, and particularly in the more vulnerable understory birds. Panama PLUMAS has multiple projects which are being conducted on tropical forest birds along a fragmentation-rainfall gradient (22 sites) across the Isthmus of Panama. Using a variety of bird species, we are investigating everything from demography, sexual and natural selection, physiological variation, cellular aging, and species interactions.
The latest work that is part of the PLUMAS project is investigating how birds that follow army ant swarms vary across the gradient. See MSFA: Ant followers page for more information.
One of the PLUMAS's study sites, a small (~8-hectare) forest fragment on the West border of the Panama Canal.
Male T. atrinucha
Forest edge (Dr. Corey Tarwater at lower right)
Dr. Corey Tarwater holding a captured bird.
Female T. atrinucha captured as part of the cross-isthmus study.
View of the Panama Canal from one of the PLUMAS Project's study locales.
Forest fragment edge at the entrance to Camino del Oleoducto.
Veteran field techs Laura and Camilo preparing harnesses for radiotransmitters.
Male black-crowned antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha), most commonly known in the scientific literature as the Western slaty antshrike.
Male T. atrinucha captured as part of the cross-isthmus study.
Young male red-capped manakin (Ceratopipra mentalis), showing the new red head feathers that will eventually cover the head.
Laura in the field
Sign and field equipment at the entrance to Camino del Oleoducto (Pipeline Road)
Keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), a dominant nest predator in central lowland Panama
Chestnut-backed antbird (Myrmeciza exsul)
Male red-capped manakin (Ceratopipra mentalis) on its display perch
Dr. Patrick Kelley (University of Wyoming)
Dr. Dylan Maddox (Field Museum of Natural History) website
Dr. Jeff Foster (Northern Arizona University, NAU): lab website
Dr. Luke Powell (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center) lab website
Dr. Jeferson Vizentin-Bugoni (Universidade Federal de Pelotas)
Laura Gomez Murillo (UW MS student)