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Location Guatemala, Jutiapa,Santa Rosa
Central coordinates 90o 17.80' West  13o 49.57' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 22,494 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Summary Monterrico-Rio La Paz is an important wetland on the Guatemalan Pacific coast and supports populations of biome-restricted birds of the Pacific Arid Slope.

Site description Monterrico-Rio La Paz is the second largest mangrove area on the Guatemalan Pacific coast, and includes important dry forest areas. The site is bordered by El Salvador in the East.

Key Biodiversity Monterrico-Rio La Paz is important for biome-restricted species of the Pacific Arid Slope, of which six species were recorded (Robbins & Dowell 1992, Dickerman 2007). Although not of global importance, the site support large numbers of resident and migrating waterbirds (Eisermann 2006).

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  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula canicularis resident  2004  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Pacific Screech-owl Megascops cooperi resident  1984  < 50 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Nutting's Flycatcher Myiarchus nuttingi resident  1984  50-249 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Magpie-jay Calocitta formosa resident  2004  250-999 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-winged Cacique Cacicus melanicterus resident  2003  < 50 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Monterrico Multiple Use Area 2,800 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - aquatic Salt pans & salinas  5%
Artificial - terrestrial Improved pasture land; Other urban & industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards & groves  46%
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Lagoons; Salt & brackish marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  25%
Forest Mangrove; Tropical deciduous  23%
Shrubland Arid lowland scrub; Second-growth & disturbed scrub  2%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 22%
fisheries/aquaculture 8%
forestry minor
hunting major
nature conservation and research 11%
not utilised minor
rangeland/pastureland 24%
tourism/recreation minor
urban/industrial/transport 1%
water management minor

Protection status Currently about 11% of the IBA are legally protected in a multiple use area (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.


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

Dickerman, R. W. 2007. Birds of the southern Pacific lowlands of Guatemala. Museum of Southwestern Biology Special Publications, No. 7.

Eisermann, K. 2006. Evaluation of waterbird populations and their conservation in Guatemala. Final report. Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitología, Guatemala. Online at:

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.

Robbins, C. S. & B. A. Dowell. 1992b. Report on bird survey at Sierra de las Minas, March 1992. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Laurel, Maryland. (Unpublished report)

Sigüenza de Micheo, R. & J. A. Ruiz Ordoñez. 2000. Resumen del plan maestro 2000-2005 de la Reserva Natural de Usos Multiples Monterrico, Santa Rosa, Guatemala. CECON, Guatemala.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Monterrico-Rio La Paz. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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