For the province of Bocas del Toro, 134 species of mammals have been registered, while for the wetland 43 are registered, which are distributed in nine orders, 20 families and 38 genera. Among the best represented groups are the carnivores with three families; bats, with two families; the rodents, with five families and the sloths of two (Choloepus hoffmanni) and three fingers (Bradypus variegatus).

Carnivores represent an important part of our ecosystem, since they act as regulators of the food chain. Species such as the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the puma (Puma concolor) are large cats that require large extensions of forest cover to perform their feeding and breeding activities.

In addition to the felines, they have reported the porcupine (Dicotyles pecari) and the sain (Tayassu tajacu). The mountain pig moves in herds of up to 300 individuals and needs large areas of vegetation to forage. At present, both species are difficult to observe in numerous groups, mainly the mountain pig.

Finally, of the species of primates that were registered in the wetland, are the red spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), the howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) and the white faced monkey (Cebus capucinus), species protected by Panamanian legislation and included in Appendix 1de CITES.

The spider monkey is threatened by the persecution to which it is subjected and to the diminution of its habitat by which, at present, it is a scarce species and difficult to observe. The howler monkey and white faced are quite tolerant of anthropic disturbances in their habitat, but this makes it more susceptible to hunting for the pet market and is also found in CITES Appendix 1 and protected by Panamanian legislation.


Wetland ecosystems maintain a significant diversity of birds, many of which are endemic or endangered. The difficult access to wetlands has attracted species that, although not exclusive to them, depend on the shelter they provide. In the San San Pond Sak Wetland, 152 bird species have been observed, of which 120 are local and 32 are northern migratory.

Among the local species many are typical of the coasts and associated with fresh water, such as the kingfisher pygme (Chloroceryle aenea), the heron lizard (Cochlearius cochlearius) and the brown tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum). There is also a large number of land birds such as the Aratinga finschi, the carpenter silverbeak (Campephilus gutemalensis), the gallantula redfronted (Gallinula chloropus), the swallow mangrover (Tachycineta albilinea) and the duck (Cairina moschata) .

Of the total nine species are protected by Panamanian legislation. These include the whistling duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), which is also found in the LFIC as vulnerable, the chachalaca cabecigris (Ortalis cinereiceps), the crested paw (Penelope purpurascens) found in the LFIC as vulnerable, the large tinamú (Tinamu major) and small tinamu (Crypturellus soui).

In addition, 23 species have been recorded in CITES Appendix 2; (Amazilia tzacatl), the bearded humpback (Threnetes ruckeri), the Peccanus hummingbird (Glaucis hirsuta) and the hermit crab (Phaethornis superciliosus). These four species of hummingbird prefer patches of Heliconia, banana plantations, mangroves and humid and flooded areas of the lowlands. In addition to this appendix, we observe the hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens), and the reitor hawk (Herpetotheres cachinnans), which prefer areas where there are large numbers of frogs, lizards, snakes and large insects. There are also the allied hawk (Buteo platypterus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus) which are northern migratory and mottled owl (Ciccaba virgata), a common species of lowland forests.

In addition to resident species, 31 northern migratory species have been identified, in addition to eight species that have local and migratory populations. Vireo verdiamarillo (Vireo flavoviridis) breeds in Panama and migrates to South America, apparently to the Amazon Basin, during the peak of the rainy season. Of the migratory species of the North, 11 of them are included in the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) of North America as species whose populations are declining worldwide, mainly by the destruction of their habitat (Appendix 1b). These species include the beach catcher (Actitis macularia), the scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea), the reed cachetinegra (Oporornis formosus), the swallow tamarisk (Hirundo rustica), the northern tyrant (Tyrannus tyrannus), the gray mimosa (Dumetella carolinensis), and the brown chestnut (Icterus spurius).


In the province of Bocas del Toro, 115 species of reptiles and 94 species of amphibians have been identified, of which 6% are national endemic species and 48% are regional endemic species.

For the San San Pond Sak Wetland, a total of 74 reptile species have been reported, including 21 families and 43 genera. Most of the reptiles reported for this protected area belong to the non-venomous snake family Colubridae, with more than 33% of the species (25 species), followed by the Polychrotidae family of lizards with 15% (11 species).

On the other hand, amphibians have identified 36 species, including Anura and Caudata, distributed in eight families and 16 genera.

In the case of amphibians, the family with the greatest representativeness among those described for this wetland was the family Leptodactilidae, followed by the families Dendrobatidae and Hylidae.

In the wetland they have been recorded in nine protected species: the babillo (Caiman crocodylus), the needle alligator (Crocodylus acutus), the green iguana (Iguana iguana), the boa (Boa constrictor) and sea turtles.


The HIISSPS encompasses a wide range of aquatic habitats, including: marshes, flood plains, low lands, peatlands, flood-prone, rivers, mangroves and coastal lagoons. These habitats are used by marine and freshwater species during some phases of their life cycle. This great diversity and rich habitat contributes to the wetland being considered as one of the richest ecosystems in biodiversity within the region.

In general, much of the fish that man consumes depend on the wetland during some stage of its life cycle. It is for this reason that the future of artisanal fisheries and the survival of many species will depend on how they are managed and conserved.

The HIISSPS is an area of confluence, both of species of freshwater and saltwater fishes. However, their distribution and abundance within the wetland can be given based on the type of habitat that each requires.

However, each section is different from the other in terms of the physical chemical characteristics of its waters. The west section (San San River, Negro River, Laguna Costera La Lata, Sixaola River mouth) behaves like an estuary, with low levels of salinity and tendency to fluctuate from the mouth to the upper limits of the wetland, where it becomes zero.

The eastern section of the Wetland (Lagoon and Mouth of the Changuinola River, Soropta Channel, Banano River) has characteristics that differentiate it from the San San River. Contrary to the characteristics of the western zone, the Mouth of the Changuinola remains with fresh water in all its extension, which causes that the species of fresh fish fishes spread by the wetland.