In the Land of the Maya, a Battle for a Vital Forest
October 10, 2012
Central America's largest expanse of rainforest: the Maya Biosphere Reserve. This natural haven covers some 60 percent of Guatemala, affording protection to scarlet macaws, jaguars, and countless other forest-dwelling creatures. Although WCS has achieved success in the region, having recently celebrated a new crop of scarlet macaw fledglings, new threats imperil Central America's vast forest.
Criminal activity has escalated, joining threats that commonly affect tropical areas (illegal logging, fires, and commercial hunting). Roan McNab, director of WCS's Guatemala Program, considers the story of the Maya Biosphere Reserve a tale of two reserves. "One of conservation successes," he says, "and one of failures."