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Ornithological Exploration and Conservation of an Isolated Mountain Range in Northern Peru

Principal Investigator(s):

Principal Investigator: C. Jonathan Schmitt

Institution:

Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology, Museum of Comparative Zoology

Project Term:

2016 - 2017

Although ornithological exploration has a long history in the Neotropics, the sheer diversity and remoteness of much of the region have limited the study of its avifauna. To this end, many areas and species remain poorly or completely unknown. This is particularly true for the Amazonian and Andean regions of South America where ornithologists are still in the process of defining species distributions and discovering new taxa. For example, within the country of Peru alone new species are still frequently discovered and species distributions are constantly being refined. Many of these discoveries were made in the Andean region of northern Peru where complex topography and climate have given rise to a hotspot of avian diversity. Specifically, across northern Peru a pattern is observed where deep, dry river valleys isolate patches of humid forest and promote speciation. As a result, many species have isolated distributions in humid forests and grasslands on single ridges or mountain ranges. Although this pattern is well established, several isolated ridges with humid forest habitat are still poorly known and warrant exploration.

Program Report: An Isolated Mountain Range in Northern Peru

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