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Flora & Fauna

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Toucan PanamaThe name "Panamá" originated in pre-Colombian times and means "abundance of fish, butterflies and trees".

Panama is a natural land bridge that connects North and Central America with South America. Consequently, Panama's tropical jungles and forests are teeming with animal and plant species from both continents. More bird species live in Panama than in North America. In total, there are 954 indigenous bird species plus hundreds of migrating bird species. Panama is also home to 225 mammal species, 214 reptile species and 143 amphibious species, as well as host to more than 10,000 plant species, including 1,200 orchid varieties, 678 fern species and 1,500 varieties of trees.

Panama provides visitors with an abundance of protected areas. More than 29 percent of Panama's land mass is given over to 15 national parks, a dozen forest reserves and 10 wild life sanctuaries, which are all great places to tour and discover a rich variety of flora and fauna.

In the highlands, in the province of Chiriquí, you can see quetzals, and in the jungles of Darién you can see the Harpy Eagle, the national bird. The mountain chain (Cordillera) of Cerro Azul, the humid forest regions of the Barú Volcano and the Cerro La Vieja, as well as the famous Oil Pipe Road (Camino del Oleoducto) in the National Park Soberanía are all recognized as world-class bird observation sites

The natural monument of Barro Colorado is a wild life sanctuary used as a natural laboratory by the Smithsonian Institute.

Thanks to Instituto Panameño de Turismo (IPAT): 1-800-231-0568

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