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Landscape Species Conservation in the Maya Forest of Guatamala

Presented by:  Rony Garcias Anleu, Director of Biological Investigations,
Wildlife Conservation Society-Guatemala Program

At over two million hectares, the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) is Central America’s largest protected area, and along with the adjacent protected areas of Mexico and Northwestern Belize, forms the largest contiguous Neotropical forest block north of the Amazon. It is a reservoir for biodiversity, retaining an intact suite of wide-­‐ranging species and one of the world’s highest concentrations of endemic species. Furthermore, beneath the canopy of this subtropical moist forest lies the epicenter of the ancient Maya civilization.

Recently,  several   threats   have   dramatically   intensified,  jeopardizing   the   ecological and cultural integrity of the region. Illegal colonization, habitat conversion, development of new roads, subsistence hunting, commercial hunting, trophy hunting, poaching for the pet trade, forest fires, large infrastructure development, and pollution have combined to imperil wildlife and their habitat. In addition, many of the most intact and least-­‐threatened protected areas lack sufficiently strong management to ward off inevitable future threats.

In order to address current and future threats in the most efficient manner, we utilized the landscape species approach,  a method for conservation priority setting based upon a representative and complementary set of wide-­ranging,  charismatic species.  Landscape species were selected using a set of criteria (use of large areas, habitat and socio-­‐political heterogeneity,  vulnerability   to   threats,  ecological   functionality,  and   socio-­‐economic significance).

In this talk, I will share my experience working on the conservation and management of jaguars,  scarlet macaws and the Central America River Turtle in the Maya Forest of Guatemala.

This and all other lectures in the Seminar Series will be held at the Beckman Center Meeting Room, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (next to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido) unless otherwise noted.

Address to the Beckman Center: 15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California 92027.

Lectures will be recorded and DVD’s available at the Beckman Library, unless otherwise noted.


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