We must identify & understand changes in forest, river, and wildlife health


Ya’axché is committed to making decisions rooted in good science. Effective protected area management, inclusive of compliance, is dependent on useful and accurate scientific information. Achieving compliance and well managed wild places, protected areas, requires a solid foundation of data. We have been constantly improving the monitoring and research of indicators which can tell us whether we are making progress.


Within the Maya Golden Landscape (MGL), our rangers collect data on large mammal and bird populations through monthly monitoring of twelve transects, each one kilometer in length. The team also collects data on small freshwater insects, trees and rainfall and climatic data at several points in the MGL. Two permanent vegetation plots are monitored every five years for changes in the number of species in that area and their characteristics. The data collected are targeted with only a small number of indicator species highlighted as important for both conservation and management of populations and habitat.

The results of this monitoring allows Ya’axché to employ a science-based approach to conservation, ensuring that its decisions are sound.

Our research projects


Our research helps us determine the overall health of the environment within the MGL. The data collected is analyzed annually and presented in our Biodiversity Synthesis Report. An example of data analysis is the comparison of bird and mammal species richness within transects that are spread across three different landscape categories. Any major change in richness, such as a decline, can be addressed by identifying the potential cause and implementing an appropriate conservation action such as community education and outreach, improving farming methods, building capacity, strengthening compliance, or advocating for better policies.

Bird Species Richness within the three different landscape categories in the MGL. | Graph: Ya’axché


We have been producing annual biodiversity synthesis reports since 2010. These reports highlight our commitment to joining science and practice in conservation.

PDF: Biodiversity Synthesis Report 2016

For more resources go to the downloads section of our website.


We welcome individuals or organizations that are interested in pursuing applied conservation and ecological research within the protected areas that we manage.

Request our Research Policy for more information via email.