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GUATEMALA

GUATEMALA
LOCALE

Area (ha):57,583
# Species*:200
# Excl Vagrants*:200
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:0
Species/100 ha*:0.3
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Subtropical Forest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

The Peten District of eastern Guatemala was once occupied by over a million Mayans, and Tikal was the capital city of the region. It was a major Mayan power that fought numerous wars with Caracol in Belize and Calakmul in Mexico. In A.D. 562 it lost its war with Caracol and went into 130 years of decline.Tikal re-established its dominance over the region after winning a major victory over its rival Calakmul in A.D. 692. It flourished during the eighth century but went into major decline due to major deforestation of the area, causing the site to be nearly abandoned by A.D. 930. Today monoculture agriculture and deforestation again threaten the entire region. Despite these threats, the national park still offers superb rainforest birding and is a premier birding destination in Central America. The ruins are well excavated and remain surrounded by dense rainforest, offering wonderful opportunities for exploring both.

More than 400 species of birds have been recorded within Tikal National Park. In addition, since hunting is forbidden, mammals wander freely and are readily seen. Among them are Black Howler Monkeys and Red Spider Monkeys, along with Agoutis, Coatimundies, and Pacas.

LOCATION OF SITE

Tikal Archeological Site and National Park is located in the Peten District of northern Guatemalan, about 50 miles northwest of the Belize border. The border crossing into Guatemala is about 3 hours west of Belize International Airport on the Western Highway.