Tacana - Tajumulco

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
Tacana-Tajumulco is located in the Guatemalan volcanic belt and includes volcano Tajumulco and volcano Tacana, which is divided between Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. This IBA ranges in elevation from 500 to 4200 m.

Key biodiversity
Tacana-Tajumulco is important for species restricted to the North Central American Highlands (7 species recorded). Despite little ornithological research in the area, populations of three globally threatened species have been reported recently: Highland and Horned Guan (Penelopina nigra and Oreophasis derbianus), and Azure-rumped Tanager (Tangara cabanisi) (Valdez et al. 1999, Cobár Carranza & Rivas Romero 2005, González García et al. 2006, Eisermann et al. 2006, Eisermann & Avendaño 2007). The site is expected to be important for a large number of species restricted to the Madrean Highlands; because of data deficiency the site does currently not apply under the criterion of importance for biome-restricted species.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
About 150 years ago began the establishment of coffee plantations, which caused an extensive loss of habitat for species like Azure-rumped Tanager and Highland Guan, which are now considered threatened. Bird populations are threatened by management deficiencies in protected areas, an advancing agricultural border, illegal logging and hunting, and forest fires.

Protected areas
About 12% of the IBA are legally protected, including three regional parks, total protected zones of all volcano cones (Zona de Veda Definitiva), and two private nature reserves (CONAP 2007).

Habitat and land use
Forest cover in the IBA has been reduced to 23%, 68% of the area is used for agriculture: 34% of the IBA is used for coffee plantations, 18% for corn fields, and 16% are covered by secondary growth scrub (MAGA 2006).

Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) - Solola supported a workshop to identify IBAs in June 2006, hosted by University del Valle (Altiplano) in Solola, and the Museum of Natural History Jorge Ibarra, hosted a workshop in Guatemala City in June 2006. Input of unpublished data and suggestions for the delimitation of the IBA were provided during these workshop by representatives of CONAP, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala - Altiplano, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación (FUNDAECO) - Huehuetenango, Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación de Guatemala (MAGA) - Solola, Cuerpo de Paz, Municipality of Tecpan, Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago Atitlán y su Entorno (AMSCLAE), and Los Tarrales Nature Reserve. This first assessment of IBAs in Guatemala was conducted by Sociedad Guatemalteca de Ornitología and BirdLife International in the Americas.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tacana - Tajumulco. Downloaded from on 21/03/2023.