05 May '15, 1am

Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve shows how forest communities can fight deforestation

Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve shows how forest communities can fight deforestation

At first I thought they were monkeys, from the way the animals leapt nimbly from tree to tree. When they got close enough to see clearly, I realized they had long ringed tails and narrow faces, like lanky raccoons. They were coatimundi, I later learned, diurnal mammals that aren’t shy—and indeed are related to raccoons. © Margaret Badore. My encounter with a coatimundi. The rainforests of the northern region of Guatemala are home to many animals, from toucans to jaguars, howler monkeys to tree frogs. It’s also home to about 180,000 people. These communities are a blend of descendants of the ancient Mayans, settlers who came from Mexico in the 1950s to harvest chicle (a tree sap used to make chewing gum), and migrants seeking to escape the country’s long civil war. Meeting the members of these communities was my primary interest in visiting the rainforests of Guatemala, alt...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/guatemalas-maya-...

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