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Location Guatemala, Petén
Central coordinates 90o 14.94' West  16o 23.83' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 185,206 ha
Altitude 125 - 300m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Summary Rio La Pasion is an important site for species restricted to the Gulf Caribbean Slope. Although this IBA is entirely legally protected, it faces threats by an advancing agricultural border and lack of appropriate management.

Site description Rio La Pasion is located in the Atlantic slope lowlands. The western limit is marked by the Usumacinta river, bordering Chiapas, Mexico.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula resident  2000  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker Celeus castaneus resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Manakin Manacus candei resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet Ornithion semiflavum resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius montezuma resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-cowled Oriole Icterus prosthemelas resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Green-backed Sparrow Arremonops chloronotus resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Shrike-tanager Lanio aurantius resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-throated Chat Granatellus sallaei resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Aguateca Cultural Monument 1,683 protected area contained by site 0  
Ceibal Cultural Monument 1,512 protected area contained by site 0  
Complejos I y II APSP Zona de Amortiguamiento 125,383 protected area contained by site 0  
Dos Pilas Cultural Monument 3,120 protected area contained by site 0  
El Pucté Wildlife Refuge 16,695 protected area contained by site 0  
El Rosario National Park 1,105 protected area contained by site 0  
Petexbatún Wildlife Refuge 4,044 protected area contained by site 0  
San Román Biological Reserve 60,878 protected area contained by site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved pasture land; Other urban & industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards & groves  27%
Forest Gallery & riparian; Tropical lowland evergreen  43%
Grassland Second-growth & grazed  3%
Shrubland Riparian scrub & thickets; Second-growth & disturbed scrub  22%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Rivers; Water-fringe vegetation  5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 45%
fisheries/aquaculture 2%
forestry minor
hunting major
nature conservation and research 100%
rangeland/pastureland 4%
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
water management minor

Protection status This IBA is entirely legally protected (CONAP 2007). The site contains a national park, two wildlife refuges, a biological reserve, and several cultural monuments. Surrounding area is declared as buffer zone. The area is threatened by management deficiencies.

Acknowledgements Wildlife Conservation Society - Guatemala hosted a workshop to identify IBAs in Peten in July 2006. Input of unpublished data and suggestions for the delimitation of the IBA was provided during this workshop by representatives of Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) - Peten, ProPeten, Wildlife Conservation Society - Guatemala, and Tikal National Park. This first assessment of IBAs in Guatemala was conducted by Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitología and BirdLife International in the Americas.

References 

AHT International GmbH. 2000. Diseño de un sistema de monitoreo y evaluación de indicadores biológicos para las áreas protegidas del sur de Petén. SEGEPLAN-PROSELVA, Guatemala. (Unpublished report)

CONAP. 2007. Lista de áreas protegidas inscritas en el SIGAP. Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (CONAP), Guatemala. (Database accessed in June 2007)

Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño. 2007. Lista comentada de las aves de Guatemala - Annotated checklist of the birds of Guatemala. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

MAGA. 2006. Mapa de cobertura vegetal y uso de la tierra a escala 1:50,000 de la República de Guatemala, Año 2003 (Incluye 5 cultivos perennes actualizados al año 2005). Memoria técnica y descripción de resultados. Ministerio de Agricultura Ganadería y Alimentación –MAGA– / Unidad de Planificación Geográfica y Gestión de Riesgo –UPGGR–, Guatemala Ciudad, Guatemala.

ParksWatch. 2002. Park profile–Guatemala: Ceibal Cultural Monument. ParksWatch Guatemala. Available online at: www.parkswatch.org

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rio La Pasion. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/07/2014

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