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Location Guatemala, Jutiapa
Central coordinates 89o 33.11' West  14o 15.71' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 4,360 ha
Altitude 420 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Summary Lake Güija is an important site for biome-restricted birds of the Pacific Arid Slope. The declaration as protected area has been proposed.

Site description Lake Güija is divided by the border between Guatemala and El Salvador. The IBA includes about 25% of the lake and surrounding terrestrial habitat.

Key Biodiversity Lake Güija has global importance for biome-restricted species of the Pacific Arid Slope, according to a rapid assessment (Tenez 2006). Although the site does not meet thresholds of global importance for waterbird populations, it supports thousands of migration waterbird species (Herrera & Ibarra 2005, Eisermann 2006, Sigüenza 2007).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-bellied Chachalaca Ortalis leucogastra resident  2004  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula canicularis resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Nutting's Flycatcher Myiarchus nuttingi resident  2006  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Magpie-jay Calocitta formosa resident  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry & agro-industrial plantations; Improved pasture land; Perennial crops, orchards & groves  16%
Forest Gallery & riparian; Tropical deciduous  8%
Grassland Low, seasonally wet; Second-growth & grazed  21%
Shrubland Arid lowland scrub; Second-growth & disturbed scrub  22%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Freshwater marshes & swamps; Inland deltas; Rivers; Water-fringe vegetation  33%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 15%
fisheries/aquaculture 33%
forestry minor
hunting major
not utilised minor
rangeland/pastureland 21%
tourism/recreation minor
water management minor

Protection status Currently no part of this IBA has a status of legal protection (CONAP 2007). The IBA has been limited according to the proposed protected area (A. Flores/CONAP, pers. comm.).

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. Evaluation of waterbird populations and their conservation in Guatemala. Final report. Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitología, Guatemala. Online at: www.avesdeguatemala.org/avesacuaticas.htm

Herrera, N. & R. Ibarra. 2005. Aves acuáticas del Lago de Güija, El Salvador y Guatemala. Pato-Poc 2: 2-8.

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.

MARN. 2001. Complejo de Güija, Metapán, Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centroamerica: propuesta de sitio Ramsar. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Sigüenza, R. 2007. Informe de conteos de Anátidas en Guatemala, temporada 2006-2007. Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala. Unpublished report to Ducks Unlimited.

Tenez, D. 2006. Aves de la Cuenca del Lago de Güija, Jutiapa. Asociación Tercer Milenio / CONAP, Guatemala. (Unpublished report)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Güija. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/11/2014

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