Sacranix is located in the Atlantic slope mountain range of Guatemala. Bordered by the rivers Chixoy, Cahabon, and Sachichaj, this IBA includes large fragments of forest extending from cloud forest at 2200 m elevation to rainforest at 300 m.
More than 320 bird species have been recorded recently in Sacranix (Eisermann 2000, 2001), including a population of the globally threatened Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra) (Eisermann 2005). The site supports populations of 11 range-restricted species of the North Central American Highlands, 28 biome-restricted species of the Madrean Highlands, and 15 species restricted to the Gulf Caribbean Slope.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Slash-and-burn agriculture is common in the area, threatening the forest by fires and conversion to agricultural land. Although pressure on natural habitat has been lowered on the short term by providing forest easements and other alternative income among local farmers (agriculture, research, tourism), long-term protection is uncertain, because the Guatemalan human population is growing rapidly.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The main forest in the Sacranix mountain is being protected by providing forest easements and the establishment of alternative crops in Maya Q'eqchi' villages (fruit trees, vanilla). Fruit tree plantations are established as fire protection belt around the primary forest. Local tourism programs are developed by several communities, which also provide alternative income. Bird populations are monitored since 2001 by PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program.
Less than 1% of this IBA are legally protected (CONAP 2007). Several private landowners receive forest easement and are committed to a 5-years forest conservation.
Habitat and land use
Humid evergreen broadleaf and mixed forest cover has been reduced to 45% within the IBA (MAGA 2006). Deforested land is used for agriculture, mainly for corn fields and plantations of coffee and cardamom. Alternative perennial crops (fruit trees, vanilla) and reforestations have been established recently in order to lower the pressure on the primary forest.
The land is privately and communal owned.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sacranix. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 06/08/2020.