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Guatemala

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Guatemala has the highest rate of species endemism in Central America, and is categorized as a megadiverse country. The country contains 14 terrestrial ecoregions, ranging from mangroves to cloud forests. In addition, it is home to caves and underground ecosystems, freshwater reefs, and wetlands; with 7 wetlands of international importance being listed by Ramsar.  

The country has a large variation in altitude and precipitation across a relatively small area, with mountainous chains oriented west-east which serve as biological corridors to connect the northern and southern hemispheres.  

Guatemala’s biodiversity is being degraded due to unsustainable land use and increased land occupation. Loss in forest cover has accelerated across this Central American country, and in 2006 it was estimated that 79 thousand hectares were lost annually, or approximately 200 football stadiums daily.  

The country contains 347 protected areas, which cover 20.05% of its terrestrial area and 0.9% of its marine area. These protected areas fall into most IUCN management categories. 

Related Expert Assessment Group (EAGL): Selva Maya

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