Great Curassows and Ocelots among other species require undisturbed, healthy forests with clean water and abundant food in order for them to thrive.

Ya’axché rangers and researchers have collected over 7 years of data on wildlife and their interactions with the environment. We target 19 mammal and 31 bird species that are sensitive to changes in their environment. We continuously monitor these target species which are placed under the classes: migrant or resident birds, game, prey and/or predator species.

Ranger monitoring birds at Golden Stream Corridor Preserve. | Photo: Maximiliano Caal

Their presence or absence indicate whether forest, wetlands or pine savannahs are healthy or otherwise impacted by human activities. For example, if there is a decrease in game species it could be an indication of increased levels of hunting pressure in one area or it could be related to habitat degradation.

Keeping an eye on the birds

The presence or absence of the 31 target bird species throughout the Maya Golden Landscape can be quite dynamic but also very interesting. The number of individual species and population levels can indicate and reflect the effects of land use change or even natural phenomena like hurricanes and even climate change. Closer to home, resident indicator species can tell us whether the ecosystems are being degraded due to agriculture expansion or other human activities.

Great Curassows - Ya'axche

Great Curassows (Crax rubra), prefer undisturbed healthy forests, photographed at Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve. | Photo: Ya’axché

Read more about our Bird & Large Mammal Monitoring projects, and some of the research visit our Downloads page.