Southern North America: Southern Mexico

This ecoregion is located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, and extends southwards into northern Guatemala. This mountainous region has a temperate climate and high rainfall, which results in high humidity and mist is often present. These patches of montane forest occur as an archipelago of elevational patches and are bound by lowland moist forests to the east and pine-oak associations to the west. The richness in avifaunal species is considerably high, with over three hundred and forty species recorded. Very little of the original forest remains intact and only three of sixteen intact tracts of habitat are protected.

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    2,200 square miles
  • Status
  • Habitats


 Location and General Description

Biodiversity Features

Current Status

Types and Severity of Threats

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
The delineation’s for these montane forests were derived from several sources. Initial linework follows current landcover maps of Mexico (INEGI 1996). In this case the we traced existing montane mesophile forests of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in the state of Chiapas and lumped together all human modified landscapes which occur within this broader region. The linework was then reviewed by expert opinion at two ecoregion workshops (dates). Where the ecoregion extends into Guatemala we used Instituto Geográfico Nacional (1972) data and merged border areas following the major habitat type. In general the linework follows the distributions of montane flora and fauna on an elevational gradient, which is distinct from the surrounding lowland and dry forests (Rzedowski 1978 and pers. comm.). Linework was reviewed and modified at an ecoregional priority setting workshop (CONABIO 1996 and 1997).

CONABIO Workshop, 17-16 September, 1996. Informe de Resultados del Taller de Ecoregionalización para la Conservación de México.

CONABIO Workshop, Mexico, D.F., November 1997. Ecological and Biogeographical Regionalization of Mexico.

INEGI Map. 1996. Comision Nacional Para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO) habitat and land use classification database derived from ground truthed remote sensing data Insitituto Nacional de Estastica, Geografia, e Informática (INEGI). Map at a scale of 1:1,000,000.

Rzedowski, J. 1978. Vegetación de Mexico. Editorial Limusa. Mexico, D.F., Mexico.

Rzedowski, J. pers.comm. at CONABIO Workshop, 17-16 September, 1996. Informe de Resultados del Taller de Ecoregionalización para la Conservación de México

Instituto Geográfico Nacional. 1972. Atlas nacional de Guatemala. Ministerio de Comunicaciones y Obras Públicas. Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Prepared by: Alejandra Valero
Reviewed by: In process