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Location Guatemala, Chiquimula
Central coordinates 89o 22.65' West  14o 29.30' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 22,114 ha
Altitude 700 - 2,300m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Summary Montecristo is an important site for biome-restricted birds of the Madrean Highlands, including a population of the globally threatened Highland Guan. Although the IBA is entirely legally protected, management deficiencies, and the establishment of non-traditional crops push the agricultural border up to an elevation of 1900 m, causing severe threats to the local biodiversity.

Site description Montecristo is a mountain range divided by the border between Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, ranging in elevation from 700 to 2300 m.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Highland Guan Penelopina nigra resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
White-faced Quail-dove Zentrygon albifacies resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Fulvous Owl Strix fulvescens resident  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-eared Hummingbird Basilinna leucotis resident  2005  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Amethyst-throated Hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Green-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis viridipallens resident  2005  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Garnet-throated Hummingbird Lamprolaima rhami resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Pewee Contopus pertinax resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Bushy-crested Jay Cyanocorax melanocyaneus resident  2005  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Unicoloured Jay Aphelocoma unicolor resident  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-capped Swallow Notiochelidon pileata resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-browed Wren Troglodytes rufociliatus resident  2005  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-and-white Mockingbird Melanotis hypoleucus resident  2005  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Slate-coloured Solitaire Myadestes unicolor resident  2005  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black Thrush Turdus infuscatus resident  2005  2,500-9,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Hooded Grosbeak Coccothraustes abeillei resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Crescent-chested Warbler Parula superciliosa resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Painted Redstart Myioborus pictus resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli resident  2005  10,000-19,999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Black-vented Oriole Icterus wagleri resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer Diglossa baritula resident  2005  1,000-2,499 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-crowned Chlorophonia Chlorophonia occipitalis resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Trifinio Biosphere Reserve 0 is identical to site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry & agro-industrial plantations; Improved pasture land; Other urban & industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards & groves  42%
Forest Montane broadleaf evergreen; Pine-oak  39%
Shrubland Second-growth & disturbed scrub  19%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 60%
forestry minor
hunting major
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
water management minor

Protection status The extension of this IBA is identical to the Trifinio Biosphere Reserve (CONAP 2007).

Acknowledgements The Museum of Natural History Jorge Ibarra, hosted a workshop in Guatemala City in June 2006. This first assessment of IBAs in Guatemala was conducted by Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitología 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)

Eisermann, K. 2006. Evaluación de la avifauna en las partes que formarán el área protegida trinacional de Montecristo en territorio guatemalteco y hondureño. In Komar, O. (ed.) Evaluación ecológica rápida en la propuesta área protegida trinacional Montecristo en territorio guatemalteco y hondureño. SalvaNatura, San Salvador, El Salvador. Online at: www.sica.int/busqueda/Proyectos.aspx?IDItem=5208&IDCat=23&IdEnt=140&Idm=1&IdmStyle=1

Herrera, N., R. Ibarra Portillo & R. Rivera. 1998. Estudio de la fauna vertebrada en la reserva La Fraternidad (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras). Informe de consultoría. Fundación para la Conservación de los Ecosistemas Mayas, Guatemala. (Unpublished report).

Komar, O. 2000. Lista de aves del Parque Nacional Montecristo, El Salvador. SalvaNatura, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Komar, O. 2002. Birds of Montecristo National Park, El Salvador. Ornitol. Neotrop. 13: 167-193.

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.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Montecristo. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/09/2014

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