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Location Guatemala, Huehuetenango
Central coordinates 91o 54.17' West  15o 42.04' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 127,773 ha
Altitude 600 - 3,500m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Summary Cuilco is an important site for range-restricted birds of the North Central American Highlands and for biome-restricted species of the Madrean Highlands and Pacific Arid Slope. The site supports populations of two globally threatened species: Highland Guan and Pink-headed Warbler. Coffee and corn plantations cover about 30% of the IBA. The IBA is entirely unprotected.

Site description This IBA includes the Cuilco Mountains and the valley west of the city of Nenton, which is the southern limit of the central valley of Chiapas, Mexico.

Key Biodiversity Cuilco is important for species of the North Central American Highlands (8 species recorded), including populations of two threatened species, Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra) and Pink-headed Warbler (Ergaticus versicolor). The site supports biome-restricted species of the Madrean Highlands (25 species recorded) and the Pacific Arid Slope (5 species). Recent ornithological information is limited to two rapid assessments (Sandoval 2000, Pérez 2006).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Highland Guan Penelopina nigra resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Orange-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula canicularis resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Bearded Screech-owl Megascops barbarus resident  2006  < 50 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Amazilia viridifrons resident  2000  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Not Recognised 
White-eared Hummingbird Basilinna leucotis resident  2006  10,000-19,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Amethyst-throated Hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Green-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis viridipallens resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Garnet-throated Hummingbird Lamprolaima rhami resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Trogon Trogon mexicanus resident  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-throated Motmot Aspatha gularis resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Russet-crowned Motmot Momotus mexicanus resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Pewee Contopus pertinax resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-sided Shrike-vireo Vireolanius melitophrys resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Jay Cyanolyca pumilo resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Magpie-jay Calocitta formosa resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Silky-flycatcher Ptilogonys cinereus resident  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Banded Wren Thryothorus pleurostictus resident  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-browed Wren Troglodytes rufociliatus resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Brown-backed Solitaire Myadestes occidentalis resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black Thrush Turdus infuscatus resident  2006  10,000-19,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-collared Robin Turdus rufitorques resident  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Olive Warbler Peucedramus taeniatus resident  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Crescent-chested Warbler Parula superciliosa resident  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Red-faced Warbler Cardellina rubrifrons winter  2006  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Painted Redstart Myioborus pictus resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli resident  2006  10,000-19,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-vented Oriole Icterus wagleri resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer Diglossa baritula resident  2006  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned & fallow farmland, disturbed ground; Arable land; Improved pasture land; Other urban & industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards & groves; Urban parks & gardens  31%
Forest Montane broadleaf evergreen; Pine-oak  16%
Grassland Second-growth & grazed  16%
Shrubland Arid lowland scrub; Second-growth & disturbed scrub  37%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Freshwater marshes & swamps; Streams  1%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 31%
forestry minor
hunting major
not utilised minor
rangeland/pastureland 16%
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
Notes: 0.1%
water management minor

Protection status No part of this IBA has a status of legal protection (CONAP 2007).

Acknowledgements Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) - Solola supported a workshop to identify IBAs in June 2006, hosted by Universidad del Valle (Altiplano) in Solola. Input of unpublished data and suggestions for the delimitation of the IBA was provided during this workshop by representatives of CONAP, Universidad del Valle - Altiplano, Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación (FUNDAECO) - Huehuetenango, Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación de Guatemala (MAGA) - Solola, Cuerpo de Paz, Municipality of Tecpan, Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago Atitlán y su Entorno (AMSCLAE), and Los Tarrales Nature Reserve. This first assessment of IBAs in Guatemala was conducted by Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitologia and BirdLife International in the Americas.

References 

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

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.

Pérez, E. S. 2006. Propuesta de areas importantes para la conservación de aves en Huehuetenango. Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación FUNDAECO, Guatemala.

Sandoval, K. J. (ed.) 2000. Biodiversidad de Huehuetenango. Centro de Datos para la Conservación, Centro de Estudios Conservacionistas, Univ. San Carlos, Guatemala.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cuilco. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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