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Biodiversity Conservation

Since 1990, FUNDAECO has struggled to protect the forest remnants and biodiversity in the Caribbean of Guatemala, in the department of Huehuetenango and Petén, as well as the ravines and the hills of the capital city, which present a high biological diversity. FUNDAECO began its conservation efforts mainly in Cerro San Gil, the biggest region and the one with highest biodiversity in the tropical rainforest of the Caribbean of Guatemala. From the achievements obtained in that area the efforts were extended towards the entire region, designing and promoting the establishment of protected areas such as Sierra Caral, Chiclera Mountain, Santa Cruz Hill, Sarstún River and Punta de Manabique in Izabal.

These remaining forest harbor 54% of the terrestrial vertebrate species of Guatemala (768 species), 56% of the amphibians (57 species), 48% of the reptiles (89 species), 61% of the mammals (151 species) and 67% of the birds (471 species). The diversity of bats is significant, with 79 species (75% from the total).

The region is an important center of endemism for plants (23 species), frogs of the Eleutherodactylus species (11 species) and Melolonthidae beetle (9 endemic species). From the 471 birds, 11 are region endemic. These forests are an important migratory corridor: more than 90 migratory species use them as hibernation and rest sites. Five threatened species (Red list UICN-Birdlife) are present in the region.

Also, it is important to mention the conservation work of the sea diversity that is made in the coastal areas of the Caribbean and Pacific Coast in the study and protection of reefs, sharks, sting ray, among others.

By replying its experience in Izabal, FUNDAECO proposed to begin its conservation efforts in the highlands of Guatemala in the department of Huehuetenango, the one that presents the higher rate of Biological Diversity of the country: With an elevation among the 500 and the 3,900 meters above the sea level and 14 Life Zone, still has a great remaining ecosystems diversity, including riparian wetlands, dry forests, tropical rain forests, karst sinkholes, montane forest and subalpine moors. Unique species, ensembles and ecological processes are presented for Guatemala and the world. Also, a high biodiversity in amphibians as the moreletii Agalychnis and the bolitoglossa cuchumatan and the birds as the Cacho Orephasis derbianus Turkey endemic of the region.

We have also promoted the protection of ravines and hills in the capital city, especially the Cayala Ecological Park and the ravine of Kanajuyú, were a high biodiversity of birds, small mammals, insects and reptiles exist.

Our efforts have achieved the protection and conservation of thousands of animals and plants that represent a unique beauty of our country.