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Panama has almost 1,000 species of birds. This incredible abundance and bird variety in such a small country (smaller than South Carolina), together with a rather small population (around 4 million people), a variety of natural habitats, and a good national park system, make Panama a land bridge for the bird migration that ravels annually from North America to South America.


There is no other place in the world where a well preserved Tropical Forest can be visited so easily. Panama has intelligently preserved the biggest possible extension in the Panama Canal watershed to assure permanent water supply for the Canal operations.
The practical benefits of this decision led us to another potential benefit, maybe as important as the former mentioned: to offer a very well preserved Tropical Forest to those who wish to learn from it.


Protecting Panama's Avifauna

In the year 2000, a group of Panamanian and American bird lovers founded the Fundación Avifauna Eugene Eisenmann to honor the memory of Eugene Eisenmann, the first world renowned Panamanian ornithologist. Avifauna started operations in 2003, with the concession of 20 hectares at the famous Pipeline Road to construct the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.

Eugene Eisenmann

Eugene Eisenmann was one of the first ornithologists to have been born in the Neotropics.
He, more than anyone else who ever lived, actively encouraged the serious study of Panama’s birds by both visitors and residents alike.
Our goal is to ensure that his memory endures, in Panama and beyond.
Author: "The Birds of Panama" Robert S. Ridgely

Our Mission

The mission of Fundación Avifauna Eugene Eisenmann is to protect Panama’s bird fauna and the habitat from witch they depend. We achieve this by:
  • Promoting sustainable tourism on privileged areas for bird watching on national territory, in a way that the generated funds could be used to strengthen the protection of these places.
  • Educating Panamanians about their birds, about the hazards they face, and the required actions to protect them.
  • Acquiring lands of vital importance, where bird species have been endangered, with the purpose of administer them as private reserves with the help and integration of the neighboring communities.
  • Working together with Panama’s government, national, international and private organizations to achieve this goal of bird conservation.

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Our Goals

Fundación Avifauna starts its efforts in the creation of a tropical Rain Forest interpretative center, at the entrance of Pipeline Road, one of the most important bird-watching spots in the Americas, inside the Soberanía National Park.
The project goals to achieve are:
  • Increase the number of visits to the Tropical Forests of Central Panama.
  • Educate visitors about the importance of the Tropical Rain Forests.
  • Effectively protect the area and the entire zone of the Soberanía National Park.



  • President: Beatriz Schmitt
  • Vice President: Líder Sucre

  • Treasurer: Maria Gabriela Fong
  • Secretary: Cesar Tribaldos
  • Sub Secretary and Vocal: Raul Arias de Para
  • Vocal: Abdiel Batista
  • Vocal: Rolando Jordán


  • Robert Eisenmann
  • Robert S. Ridgely
  • Lynda Gearheart
  • Loyda Sanchez
  • Ira Rubinoff

  • George Angher

  • Joseph Guarnaccia

  • María Allen

  • Marco Saavedra

  • David B. Eisenmann

  • Rafael Arias Chiari

  • Gonzalo de la Guardia Arias

  • Nicholas Psychoyos

  • Pedro Heilbron


  • Samuel Lewis Navarro

  • Benjamin Boyd Lewis

  • María del Pilar Catalá Saavedra

  • Norita Scott Pezet

  • Karl W. Kauffman

  • Manuel José Berrocal

  • John Gwynee

  • Rosabel Miro

  • Bethzaida Carranza

  • Félix Jorge Riera Salgado

  • Leslie Kline de Riera

  • Jorge Ventocilla