Status of the avifauna of San Rafael National Park, one of the last large fragments of Atlantic Forest in Paraguay.


SUMMARY

Here we provided new information about all birds known until present within San Rafael National Park. Ornithological records within 1997 and 2006 have been revewied, which has increased 112 new species to the reserve. In this way, San Rafael counts with a total of 405 species recorded. We provide data which evidence their presence in seven basic habitats types diferentiated, and their relative abundance. Biogeographically, the avifauna of San Rafael is a mix consisting of 70 Atlantic Forest endemic species, two Mesopotamian Grassland endemics, and the rest, with a wider distribution in South-America. At least, 12 species are threatened and 16 near-threatened, including important populations of Dryocopus galeatus, Platyrinchus leucoryphus, Alectrurus tricolor and Xanthopsar flavus. From this 28 species, we provide brief comments about their records in the study site. The avifauna of the reserve results one of the most importants of Paraguay, due to hold the greatest diversity and endemism, as being one of the areas with highly potential to maintain the biodiversity, at the same time being under great threat risking its viability in case no urgent actions are taken. The high fragmentation of the Atlantic Forest in Paraguay, have left the San Rafael block almost isolated of other forests. The degradation of its forests through selective logging and clearing for agriculture, are still great impacts within its limits, as well as furtive hunting and the frequent induction of fires of grasslands and forests. Unfortunately, the legal situation of the National Park is extremely precarious, creating a great uncertainty and difficulty for its conservation.SUMMARY Here we provided new information about all birds known until present within San Rafael National Park. Ornithological records within 1997 and 2006 have been revewied, which has increased 112 new species to the reserve. In this way, San Rafael counts with a total of 405 species recorded. We provide data which evidence their presence in seven basic habitats types diferentiated, and their relative abundance. Biogeographically, the avifauna of San Rafael is a mix consisting of 70 Atlantic Forest endemic species, two Mesopotamian Grassland endemics, and the rest, with a wider distribution in South-America. At least, 12 species are threatened and 16 near-threatened, including important populations of Dryocopus galeatus, Platyrinchus leucoryphus, Alectrurus tricolor and Xanthopsar flavus. From this 28 species, we provide brief comments about their records in the study site. The avifauna of the reserve results one of the most importants of Paraguay, due to hold the greatest diversity and endemism, as being one of the areas with highly potential to maintain the biodiversity, at the same time being under great threat risking its viability in case no urgent actions are taken. The high fragmentation of the Atlantic Forest in Paraguay, have left the San Rafael block almost isolated of other forests. The degradation of its forests through selective logging and clearing for agriculture, are still great impacts within its limits, as well as furtive hunting and the frequent induction of fires of grasslands and forests. Unfortunately, the legal situation of the National Park is extremely precarious, creating a great uncertainty and difficulty for its conservation.