WCS Guatemala

Parque Nacional Mirador-Río Azul

The National Park Mirador-Rio Azul and Biotopo Naachtun-Dos Lagunas form the heart of the protected areas of the Mayan jungle, providing connectivity for the flow of flora, fauna and genetic material between Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Due to its geographical position between the tall wet tropical forests of Petén and low subtropical forests and xeric Yucatan, the area contains traits of both ecoregions. The area represents the southern limit of many species with affinity to the Yucatan, and the northern edge of humid forest species in Guatemala.

This park is an important habitat for jaguar and white-lipped peccary, two landscape species of WCS Guatemala Program. WCS has estimates jaguars abundances in the western part of the National Park in the Mirador area, in the central area of the Park (Biotope Naachtún) and in Rio Azul area. It has been found that these areas maintain a large population of jaguars, but are also home to a great diversity of wildlife as white-lipped peccary, puma, tapir, agouti and brocket-deer. WCS has also conducted studies on behavior, health and ecology of thewhite-lipped peccary, specifically in the area of Rio Azul. This park is an important habitat for both species, due to their size, geographical location and current protection level, which by their remoteness from human settlements recorded low threat of hunting and habitat loss.

The park also has a great cultural importance including archeological sites as Mirador, Naachtun, Nakbé, La Muerte, Muralla y la Vitrola. It also has samples of prehispanic agricultural systems, prehispanic systems of water harvesting and intersite and intrasite cause ways.(Information taken from the Master Plan 2009-2013 Mirador Rio Azul National Parkand Protected Biotope Naachtun-Dos Lagunas)

Conservation Challenges

It is considered that the higher threat to the park is the construction or improvements of the access routes, essentially due to the side effects of providing easy access without any control, generating invasions, encroachment of agriculture and ranching, illegal logging, hunting, archaeological looting and loss of governance, as has happened in other parts of the Reserve. A recent study that analyzed the impacts of the possible construction of four road sections located northeast of the RBM estimated that in 2025 the deforestation would increase by 2978.7 km ²and 2894.4 km ² in two of the road sections, and result in the loss of U.S. $33.9 million and $ 6.4 million for these two road sections respectively.

Invasions facilitated by roadare the second most important threat to the Park. The game hunting for subsistence purposes but especially for sale to restaurants is another threat to the biodiversity of the park, species like the white-lipped peccary species(lipped peccary), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), brocket deer (Mazama americana ) and land birds among others, are frequently hunted species.This hunt is linked to easy access and lack of territorial control.

Finally the looting of archaeological sites and uncontrolled tourism due to the lack of control and surveillance, is other of the challenges that we are working hard to prevent in the park. (Information taken from the Master Plan 2009-2013 Mirador Rio Azul National Park and Protected Biotope Naachtun-Dos Lagunas)

 

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WCS Guatemala
Avenida 15 de Marzo, Casa #3, Ciudad Flores Petén-Guatemala, frente al Juzgado de Paz.
502-78675152

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Roan Balas McNab
WCS Guatemala Program Director
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