Creation of the El Salado Wildlife Reserve, Guatemala
This project aims to contribute to the conservation of the mangrove and dry tropical ecosystems of the El Salado Wildlife Reserve, a 25 hectare protected area on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. The project will carry out reforestations, and develop educational trails and other infrastructure necessary for the management of the reserve. ln the longer-term, ARCAS will establish a research and training center for the development of practices for adaptation to climate change, as well as to monitor the dry forest and mangroves ecosystems and the influence of the encroaching sugar cane industry on these ecosystems.
The El Salado Reserve consists approximately of 1/3 mangrove (8 hectares) and2l3 dry tropical forest (17 hectares), and includes a lagoon and a pre-Mayan archeological site. Although it purchased the reserve 2007 , and it carries oul2- 4 reforestations per year, ARCAS has not yet been able to completely reforest it due to a series of tropical storms, floods, and droughts, exacerbated by climate change. Under this project, it is soliciting support for the full reforestation of the area and for the construction of a guard house to protect the land and prevent intrusion of illegal loggers and poachers Dry tropical and mangrove forests are two of the most endangered ecosystems in the neotropics. There are nearly 250 bird species registered for El Salado. and it is home to remnant populations of tamanduas, spectacled cairnans and otters. Nearby, olive ridley and leatherback sea turtles nest, and overhead is a major flyway for migratory raptors. ln addition. El Salado serves as a core area for the Hawaii protected area, and provides important ecosystem services as a filter for pollution, protection against erosion and as a nursery for fish and shrimp that serve as the basis of the local subsistence economy.
Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS)
"“Thanks so much for all your support. We are very excited! After nearly ten years of work, the reserve is finally starting to feel like a real forest, and there are lots of birds and wildlife all around. We even recorded the first sighting of the Black-headed trogon in the area. (If only we could do something about the swarms of mosquitoes!) Please let me know if there is any additional information you need, and please visit us sometime!”"