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Location Guatemala, Alta Verapaz
Central coordinates 90o 32.23' West  15o 47.95' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 211,746 ha
Altitude 150 - 1,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Summary Lachua-Ikbolay is an important site for biome-restricted birds of the Gulf Caribbean Slope and for two globally threatened species, Keel-billed Motmot and Cerulean Warbler. About the half of the IBA is used for growing corn, coffee, and cardamom, and for cattle farming.

Site description Lachua-Ikbolay is located in the foothills and lowlands of the Atlantic slope of Guatemala. This IBA includes large fragments of humid evergreen broadleaf forest ranging in elevation from 150 to 1000 m.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Wedge-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus curvipennis resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Keel-billed Motmot Electron carinatum resident  2001  medium  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker Celeus castaneus resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Manakin Manacus candei resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Lovely Cotinga Cotinga amabilis resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet Ornithion semiflavum resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Couch's Kingbird Tyrannus couchii resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Green Shrike-vireo Vireolanius pulchellus resident  2006  poor    Least Concern 
Northern Nightingale-wren Microcerculus philomela resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Slate-coloured Solitaire Myadestes unicolor resident  2001  poor    Least Concern 
Grey-throated Chat Granatellus sallaei resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius montezuma resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-cowled Oriole Icterus prosthemelas resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Green-backed Sparrow Arremonops chloronotus resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Shrike-tanager Lanio aurantius winter  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Crimson-collared Tanager Ramphocelus sanguinolentus resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi resident  2006  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Chajumpec Private Natural Reserve 979 protected area contained by site 988  
Eco-Región Lachuá Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Entre Ríos Private Natural Reserve 451 protected area contained by site 490  
Laguna Lachuá National Park 14,500 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned & fallow farmland, disturbed ground; Forestry & agro-industrial plantations; Improved pasture land; Perennial crops, orchards & groves  14%
Forest Gallery & riparian; Tropical lowland evergreen  44%
Grassland Second-growth & grazed  1%
Shrubland Second-growth & disturbed scrub  40%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Freshwater marshes & swamps; Riverine floodplains; Rivers; Streams; Water-fringe vegetation  2%

Land ownership The land is owned by the state (Laguna Lachua National Park), privately and communal owned.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 53%
fisheries/aquaculture minor
hunting major
forestry major
nature conservation and research 7%
not utilised minor
rangeland/pastureland minor
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
Notes: 0.1%
water management minor

Protection status Currently, about 7% of the IBA are legally protected, including a national park and two private nature reserves (CONAP 2007). The Ecoregión Lachuá has been designated as important wetlands under the Ramsar convention in 2006.

Acknowledgements PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program provided unpublished ornithological data. Input of unpublished data and suggestions for the delimitation of the IBA was provided during a workshop in Cobán, in August 2006, by representatives of Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) - Las Verapaces, Asociación de Proyectos Evaluados Raxmu (PROEVAL RAXMU), Peace Corps, Cooperativa Sanimtaca, Cooperativa Samac, and Comité Central Menotita. This first assessment of IBAs in Guatemala was conducted by Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitología and BirdLife International in the Americas.


Avendaño, C. 2001. Caracterización de la avifauna del Parque Nacional Laguna Lachuá y su zona de influencia, Cobán, Alta Verapaz. Tesis de Licenciatura, Univ. San Carlos, Guatemala.

Cóbar, A. J. 2003. Riqueza y abundancia de aves de sotobosque en dos condiciones de paisaje con diferente grado de fragmentación en la zona de influencia del Parque Nacional Laguna Lachuá. Univ. San Carlos, 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. 2001. Reporte de avance: investigaciones de la avifauna de las regiones Ik'bolay, Guaxac y Sacranix, Alta Verapaz. Unpublished report to BIDAS/Proyecto Eco-Quetzal, Cobán. (Unpublished report)

Eisermann, K. 2005. Noteworthy bird observations in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 125: 3-11.

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.

Welton, M. J., D. L. Anderson, G. Colorado, E. S. Pérez & T. Beachy 2007. Migration habitat and stopover ecology of Cerulean Warblers and other Nearctic-Neotropical migrant songbirds in Northern Central America: Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico 2007. (Unpublished report)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lachua-Ikbolay. Downloaded from on 21/04/2014

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