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Alliance for the Conservation of the Central American Pine-Oak Forest . Central American Pine-Oak Forest Ecoregion 103,842.71 km 2. Importance. Zone of high conifer diversity (high levels of hybridization and a center of speciation of pines)

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  • Zone of high conifer diversity (high levels of hybridization and a center of speciation of pines)
  • Large number of endemic species, 23 spp globally threatened
  • Priority Terrestrial Ecoregion or “hotspot” (Conservation International)
  • Wintering area or migration route for 225 species of migratory birds
  • Source of forest products and high ecotourism potential
  • Conservation status: “in critical danger” (WWF) and “threatened”(TNC) (deforestation, forest fires, conversion to agriculture, industrial plantations, cattle raising)
regional concerns
Regional Concerns
  • Current forest area 26,728.35 km² (25.7% of original extent)
  • 74.3% of the original forest has disappeared, primarily due to agricultural conversion
  • Average rate of regional deforestation: 60,000 ha/year; at this rate, all forest will disappear in 45 years
  • High incidence of forest fires, poor forest management, illegal logging
  • High indices of poverty and extreme poverty
  • Low representation of Pine-Oak in National Protected Areas Systems (8.3%)
  • Limited knowledge about biodiversity in the ecoregion
golden cheeked warbler dendroica chrysoparia
Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)
  • Migratory species
  • Nests in Texas, US
  • Winters in pine-oak forests from August-March
  • Globally threatened
  • Habitat loss and degradation due to urban development, deforestation, fires, extraction of timber, charcoal, and firewood
  • Limited number of protected areas in its winter range

Breeding range

Wintering range

protected winter habitat
Protected Winter Habitat

Potential habitat in the ecoregion (red): 19,510 km²

Potential habitat in protected areas (pink): 1,449 km².

formation of the alliance
Formation of the Alliance

1990-93. Pronatura Chiapas (Mexico) began studies of Golden-cheeked Warbler in pine-oak forest

1995. Studies of Rappole et al. documenting the winter range in Central America

1999. Conservation project for Golden-cheeked Warbler initiated in Sierra de Las Minas, Guatemala

1999. SalvaNatura (El Salvador) began studies of the avifauna of pine-oak forest

2000-03. FDN (Guatemala) and Pronatura conducted studies of distribution and ecology and implemented conservation actions in pine-oak forest

2001. FDN sponsored a workshop on the conservation of the warbler in its winter range in Río Hondo, Guatemala

formation of the alliance1
Formation of the Alliance

2001. Formation of an alliance for the conservation of the warblerand development of standardized methodologies for the study of the species in its wintering habitat at the Rio Hondo workshop

2002-2003. FDN, Pronatura, and SalvaNatura participated in the project “Quercus and Aves” funded by NMBCA, a multinational collaborative project for the conservation of Mesoamerican temperate forests

2003-2005. Pronatura developed the project “Conservation of temperate forests and capacity building in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras” with NMBCA funding

formation of the alliance2
Formation of the Alliance

2003. A symposium on the conservation of the pine-oak forest and the Golden-cheeked Warbler was held at the VIIth Congress of the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico

The symposium was attended by 120 persons: students, researchers, conservationists, and agency staff from 8 countries (US, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama)

Research papers on work with Golden-cheeked Warbler were presented, based on studies in both the US and in Mesoamerica

The “Alliance for the conservation of the pine-oak forest of Mesoamerica” was formed

letter of understanding for the alliance
Letter of Understanding for the Alliance
  • FDN, TNC Guat
  • SalvaNatura
  • Fundación Educa
  • ALAS
  • Pronatura, IHNE, IMAC, TNC Chis
  • TNC TX, TPWD, Zoo ConservationOutreachGroup

Fundamental Objectives of the Alliance

  • Promote conservation of the pine-oak forest ecoregion as habitat for migratory and threatened resident species
  • Focus efforts on the study and conservation of the Golden-cheeked Warbler along its distributional range (species conservation plan)
  • Promote capacity building, community leadership and other multisectoral working groups in the conservation and management of temperate forests in the ecoregion
  • Involve all key stakeholders in decision-making and planning processes, processes, and management and conservation of the forest and its bird species
objectives continued
Objectives continued….
  • Establish cooperative programs to prevent, combat, and manage forest fires and invasive insects
  • Disseminate information about the importance of the conservation of this ecoregion and its birds species
  • Identify and manage financial resources that will allow the Alliance to complete proposed actions
  • Disseminate information that demonstrates the Alliances collaborative efforts, such as communication and coordination efforts to strengthen the Alliance
achievements of the alliance
Achievements of the Alliance
  • Development of a standardized methodology to study the Golden-cheeked Warbler across its wintering range
  • Development of an ecoregional conservation plan
  • Development of regional proposals:
    • Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act-NMBCA and TNC (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua)
    • Legacy Fund (Chiapas, Guatemala and Honduras)
    • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (Ecoregion)
    • US Forest Service (Honduras and Nicaragua)
    • Fundación Saul (Honduras)
    • Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act-NMBCA (El Salvador)
  • Consolidation of the regional Alliance
Conservation Plan for the Central American Pine-Oak Forest Ecoregion and the Golden-cheeked Warbler
  • Develop a strategic plan for consolidation of the Alliance
  • Focus actions on conservation of the pine-oak forest ecoregion and its animal species
planning process
Planning Process
  • Initiated in June, 2005
  • Completed in December, 2007
  • Implemented CAP methodology
  • Recieved financial and technical support from TNC
  • Held 5 national workshops and 3 regional meetings to promote

the plan

  • Involved participation of 32 institutions and more than 70 professionals










Threats and




Measures of






Capacity Analysis

prioritization of sites for the conservation of pine oak forest
Prioritization of sites for the conservation of pine-oak forest
  • SPOT (Spatial Portfolio Optimization Tool) identifies the best areas for conservation with the least cost
  • Conservation target: Potential habitat for Golden-cheeked Warbler
  • Two goals (scenarios):
    • 2.5 million acres conserved (1 million ha) in 5 years across the entire ecoregion
    • 618,000 acres conserved (250,000 ha) at sites outside of protected areas
  • Estimated budget:

$22 million over 5-10 years

  • Very ambitious plan in terms of acreage goals, but there is growing regional and national interest in conserving the pine-oak forest
  • Regional and national coordination
  • Availability of profitable economic alternatives for rural communities