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Location Guatemala, San Marcos
Central coordinates 91o 57.15' West  15o 2.19' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 148,499 ha
Altitude 500 - 4,200m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Summary Tacana-Tajumulco is an important site for range-restricted birds of the North Central American Highlands, including three globally threatened species: Highland and Horned Guan, and Azure-rumped Tanager. Few recent ornithological data are available for this IBA, the site is expected to be important for a large set of species of the Madrean Highlands. Coffee plantations, corn fields, and secondary growth scrub cover 68% of the IBA. About 12% of the IBA are legally protected.

Site description Tacana-Tajumulco is located in the Guatemalan volcanic belt and includes volcano Tajumulco and volcano Tacana, which is divided between Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. This IBA ranges in elevation from 500 to 4200 m.

Key Biodiversity Tacana-Tajumulco is important for species restricted to the North Central American Highlands (7 species recorded). Despite little ornithological research in the area, populations of three globally threatened species have been reported recently: Highland and Horned Guan (Penelopina nigra and Oreophasis derbianus), and Azure-rumped Tanager (Tangara cabanisi) (Valdez et al. 1999, Cobár Carranza & Rivas Romero 2005, González García et al. 2006, Eisermann et al. 2006, Eisermann & Avendaño 2007). The site is expected to be important for a large number of species restricted to the Madrean Highlands; because of data deficiency the site does currently not apply 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
Horned Guan Oreophasis derbianus resident  2006  < 50 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Endangered 
Highland Guan Penelopina nigra resident  2001  250-999 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Ocellated Quail Cyrtonyx ocellatus resident  2000  < 50 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous Sabrewing Campylopterus rufus resident  1999  250-999 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Green-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis viridipallens resident  1999  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Bushy-crested Jay Cyanocorax melanocyaneus resident  1999  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Azure-rumped Tanager Tangara cabanisi resident  2003  < 50 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Astillero Municipal 1 y 2 de San Pedro Sacatepequez San Marcos Regional Park 285 protected area contained by site 285  
Astillero Municipal de San Marcos Regional Park 860 protected area contained by site 860  
Manila Private Nature Reserve 244 protected area contained by site 244  
Medio Día Private Nature Reserve 450 protected area contained by site 450  
Tewancarnero Regional municipal park 353 protected area contained by site 353  
Volcán San Antonio Zona de Veda Definitiva 120 protected area contained by site 120  
Volcán Tacaná Zona de Veda Definitiva 2,964 protected area contained by site 2,964  
Volcán Tajumulco Zona de Veda Definitiva 13,032 protected area contained by site 13,032  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned & fallow farmland, disturbed ground; Forestry & agro-industrial plantations; Improved pasture land; Other urban & industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards & groves  53%
Forest Montane broadleaf evergreen; Pine-oak; Tropical coniferous; Tropical lowland evergreen  23%
Grassland Alpine & subalpine; Second-growth & grazed  8%
Rocky areas Scree & boulders  1%
Shrubland Second-growth & disturbed scrub  16%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers  1%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 68%
forestry minor
hunting major
nature conservation and research 12%
not utilised minor
rangeland/pastureland 7%
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
water management minor

Protection status About 12% of the IBA are legally protected, including three regional parks, total protected zones of all volcano cones (Zona de Veda Definitiva), and two private nature reserves (CONAP 2007).

Acknowledgements Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) - Solola supported a workshop to identify IBAs in June 2006, hosted by University del Valle (Altiplano) in Solola, and the Museum of Natural History Jorge Ibarra, hosted a workshop in Guatemala City in June 2006. Input of unpublished data and suggestions for the delimitation of the IBA were provided during these workshop by representatives of CONAP, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala - Altiplano, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, 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 Ornitología and BirdLife International in the Americas.


Cóbar Carranza, A. J. & J. A. Rivas Romero. 2005. Distribución actual y selección de sitios para el estudio y conservación del pavo de cacho (Oreophasis derbianus G. R. Gray, 1844) en los departamentos de San Marcos y Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Pp. 8-13 In J. Rivas, E. Secaira & J. Cornejo (eds.) Memorias II Simposium Internacional Oreophasis derbianus, 7-9 Abril 2005, Reserva Los Tarrales, Patulul, Suchitepéquez, Guatemala. The Nature Conservancy, Guatemala.

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.

Eisermann, K., N. Herrera & O. Komar. 2006. Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra). Pp. 90-95. In D. M. Brooks (Ed.) Conserving Cracids: the most threatened family of birds in the Americas. Miscellaneous Publications of the Houston Museum of Natural Science 6.

González-Garcia, F., Rivas Romero, R. A. & Cóbar Carranza, A. J. 2006. Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus). Pp. 36-41. In D. M. Brooks (ed.) Conserving Cracids: the most threatened family of birds in the Americas. Miscellaneous Publications of the Houston Museum of Natural Science 6.

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.

Valdez, O. I., D. E. Marroquín, R. E. Orellana, S. G. Pérez, K. J. Sandoval, L. Villar, C. V. Godínez, M. E.Acevedo, J. E. Morales & L. E. Reyes. 1999. Fauna en peligro de extinción de Guatemala: inventarios rápidos para la conservación. Informe final (noviembre). Centro de Estudios Conservacionistas, Univ. San Carlos, Guatemala.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Tacana-Tajumulco (part of Guatemalan/Mexican Pacific Coastal Mountains AZE). Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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