Southern North America: Yucatán Peninsula in southern Mexico extending into northern Guatemala, and northern Belize

These moist forests on the Yucatán Peninsula of south-eastern Mexico are characterized by a tropical humid climate with little topographic relief. This ecoregion serves as an important biological corridor between the northern Yucatán peninsula and the moist forests of Central America. Though there are few endemic species, biodiversity is high. Several reserves have provided a degree of protection to the remaining habitat, but logging and cattle farming continue to destroy much of these forests.

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    26,900 square miles
  • Status
  • Habitats


Location and General Description

Biodiversity Features

Current Status

Types and Severity of Threats

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
The delineation for this ecoregion were derived by consulting the INEGI (1996) current landcover maps by combining "selva mediana subperennifolia" and "selva mediana perennifolia" classifications of forest types within the Yucatan Peninsula area. All human modified landcovers within these delineation’s were incorporated into the broader ecoregion to encompass historical coverage’s. The linework was then modified by expert review in several ecoregion workshops (CONABIO 1996 and 1997) and according to Rzedowski (1978 and pers. comm.). Very little of this ecoregion falls within Belize and Guatemala, and in many case was derived by following Mexican coverage’s along the borders according to the coverage maps – primarily Junio (1982) for Guatemala. These moist forests are justified by a number of endemic species.

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.

Junio, C.A. 1982. Mapa de cobertura y uso actual de la tierra Repœblica de Guatemala. Instituto Geográfico Nacional Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

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.

Prepared by: Alejandra Valero, Jan Schipper, and Tom Allnutt
Reviewed by: In Process