Guatemala names new Ramsar site for World Wetlands Day

02/02/2006


World Wetlands Day 2006
in Guatemala

The government of Guatemala has taken the opportunity of World Wetlands Day to designate the inland National Park Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo as its fifth Wetland of International Importance. Located within the well-known UNESCO Biosphere Reserve called "Maya" in Petén province, the Parque Nacional Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo (37,160 hectares, 17º09'N 089º25'W) is 97% covered by forested lands, either high or seasonally flooded. It also contains various rivers, lagoons and pools such as the Yaxhá, Sacnab, Juleque, Lancajá and Champoxté. Among the species present are the Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletti), the white fish (Petenia splendida), the Central American river turtle (Dermatemys mawi), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu). It has been estimated that over 90% of the flora in the site has not been studied botanically nor chemically. There exist certain pressures on the site due to illegal extraction of natural resources, and a progressive deterioration in the quality of the water bodies has also been noted. Ramsar site No. 1599.

Parque Nacional Yaxhá-Nakum-Naranjo. 02/02/06; Petén; 37,160 ha; 17º09' N, 89º 25' W. Ubicado dentro de la Reserva de la Biósfera Maya (RBM), el 97% de este humedal está cubierto por áreas boscosas, ya sea bosque alto o bosque bajo inundable. Contiene además varios ríos, aguadas naturales y 5 lagunas y lagunetas: Yaxhá, Sacnab, Juleque, Lancajá y Champoxté. Dentro de las especies presentes destacan el cocodrilo moreletti (Crocodylus moreletti), el pez blanco (Petenia splendida), la tortuga blanca (Dermatemys mawi), el mono araña (Ateles geoffroyi) y el coche de monte (Tayassu tajacu). Se estima que más del 90% de las plantas presentes en la zona no han sido estudiadas ni botánica ni químicamente. Existen algunas presiones por extracción ilegal de recursos, y se ha notado un deterioro gradual en la calidad de los cuerpos de agua. Sitio Ramsar No. 1599.

-- Adrián Ruiz-Carvajal, Ramsar

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