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Location Guatemala, Petén
Central coordinates 89o 14.01' West  16o 35.99' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 145,036 ha
Altitude 200 - 1,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Summary Chiquibul is an important site for Keel-billed Motmot (Electron carinatum). Although this IBA is entirely legally protected, it faces threats by an advancing agricultural border and lack of appropriate management.

Site description Chiquibul is located in the Atlantic slope lowlands, bordered in the east by Belize.

Key Biodiversity Chiquibul supports a population of the threatened Keel-billed Motmot (Electron carinatum) (J. Madrid, pers. comm.). Recent ornithological information is limited to an ecological rapid assessment (AHT 2000) and some additional species records (Vargas et al. 2006, Eisermann & Avendaño 2007). The site is expected to be important for a large number of species restricted to the Gulf Caribbean Slope; because of data deficiency the site does currently not apply under under the criterion of importance for biome-restricted species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Keel-billed Motmot Electron carinatum resident  2006  < 50 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Complejo III APSP Zona de Amortiguamiento 123,599 protected area contained by site 0  
Maya UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 21,129,400 protected area contains site 145,036  
Maya Zona de Amortiguamiento 848,440 protected area contained by site 123,599  
Montañas Mayas Chiquibul Biosphere Reserve 123,599 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned & fallow farmland, disturbed ground; Arable land; Forestry & agro-industrial plantations; Improved pasture land; Other urban & industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards & groves; Urban parks & gardens  9%
Forest Pine; Tropical lowland evergreen  51%
Grassland Second-growth & grazed  15%
Shrubland Second-growth & disturbed scrub  24%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Streams  1%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 31%
forestry minor
hunting major
nature conservation and research 100%
rangeland/pastureland 17%
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
water management minor

Protection status This IBA is entirely legally protected as a biosphere reserve and its buffer zone (CONAP 2007). 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.


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.

Vargas G., J. d. J., D. Whitacre, R. Mosquera, J. Albuquerque, R. Piana, J.-M. Thiollay, C. Márquez, J. E. Sánchez, M. Lezama-López, S. Midence, S. Matola, S. Aguilar, N. Rettig & T. Sanalotti (2006) Estado y distribución del Águila Arpía (Harpia harpyia) en el Centro y Sur América. Ornitol. Neotrop. 17: 39-55.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Chiquibul. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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