The Central American River (Dermatemys mawii) Turtle is the only living species of the Dermatemydidae family and is listed in Appendix II as ahigh priority species for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and in Guatemalan Endangered Species List. In addition Dermatemys is listed as one of the top25 most endangered fresh water turtle species of the world.
The Maya Forest is the second largest continuous tropical forest in the American continent exceeded only by Amazon rainforest. Maya Forest extents through the southeast of Mexico, Peten Districtin Guatemala and Belize. This is an important conservation region for the endangered D. mawii. The species is threatened by human consumption for meat asit is considered a delicacy. Despite its abundance in the past, its distribution is become more restricted due habitat destruction and human predation.