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Participatory Ecological Monitoring

We have formulated and implemented a participatory system to monitor the richness, abundance and spatial distribution of large mammals and large birds and their fluctuations over time in the Lachuá Ecoregion (Laguna Lachuá National Park -PNLL- and its area of influence), under a adaptive management framework. To this end, we have successfully engaged and trained 12 PNLL rangers and five local inhabitants in methods and techniques to identify and monitor large mammals and large birds. We have enabled transects and placed cameras activated by infrared sensors to monitor the species of interest. Currently, the rangers and local inhabitants actively participate as field researchers and have carried out a total of 68 samplings during the period from January 2009 to date. With this effort, the Lachuá Ecoregion has become the first protected area in Guatemala to have a participatory monitoring system for hunting mammals and birds and a model to follow where scientists, administrators, rangers and local inhabitants work together to investigate and protect biodiversity.


The information generated allows us to monitor the assemblage and populations of these species over time, periodically evaluate the conservation status of the protected area and its zone of influence, provide scientific information to guide decision-making in the region and formulate/strengthen strategies. viable conservation and sustainable management of wildlife in the study area. The ecological monitoring system also constitutes an indirect means of indirectly evaluating the impact of environmental education programs on populations of threatened and game mammals and birds and the control/surveillance measures carried out by PNLL personnel.

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