The Quetzales are beautiful creatures from Mesoamerica and are considered a deity by the pre-Columbian culture. These amazing, colorful and brightful birds have become a symbol of the Central American jungles who’s iridescent plumage has captivated the entire world.
The National Council of Protected Areas -CONAP- has the governing mandate of Biological Diversity and Protected Areas at the National Level of Guatemala. Nowadays, they have been working on strategies supported by mayors of the different municipalities of Guatemala. Such as, Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga and his family’s foundations within the country who committed to sensitize the population to guarantee the protection of the Quetzal.
The Quetzal conservation strategy is aimed at preserving the bird, which is the national symbol of the Central American country. It is based on actions to protect the habitat, dissemination of information about the species and dissemination of its ecological and cultural importance.
Actions established by the strategy to save the quetzal
- Incorporate new areas of cloud forest and mountain to the Guatemalan System of Protected Areas (Sigap).
- Prepare technical studies and master plans with the presence of Quetzals.
- Design and promote the implementation of biological corridors for the species.
- Establish fire brigades in priority areas of Quetzal conservation.
- Promote payments for environmental services as a mechanism for conserving their habitat.
- Create a system for capturing and channeling complaints about illegal activities that affect their habitat.
- Carry out studies on the success of the use of artificial nests to promote the reproduction of the species.
- Identify the Quetzal populations most vulnerable to illegal hunting and trafficking.
- Train communities near Quetzal conservation areas.
- Design and implement environmental education programs and a teacher training program.
The strategies developed by CONAP respond to its mission of promoting the conservation and improvement of the natural heritage of Guatemala.
As in 2019, a syndicated loan led by BID Invest of US$350 million requested by CMI, an important company in Guatemala. The Loan will be used to finance productivity levels, renew fixed assets and carry out environmental projects of the country, in which the conservation of the Quetzal’s natural habit will be abroaded.
What can we do to save the Quetzal?
Volunteer or collaborate with organizations and associations aimed at the conservation of the Quetzal. Look for environmental and ecological associations from these two countries or even international ones with programs aimed at these countries or this specific animal species.
If you live in the area or are going to visit it while doing tourism, do not litter, do not damage any of the vegetation or the animals in the area.
If you see someone breaking the laws for the protection of these areas or the protection of animals when you go through these areas, let them know that they are breaking them. Sometimes people are not well informed, and if they do not stop then call the authorities in the area.
Always use the 3Rs of ecology to help the environment of these ecosystems and the planet in general, reduce the waste that pollutes and you will help the quetzal and other living beings.
It helps to make other people aware of this issue and also of the importance of helping both the Quetzals and the rest of endangered species, animals and plants, in Guatemala. It is especially important that you help the youngest to become aware of this.