Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bocas del Polochic is a wetland formed by the mouth of the Polochic River in Lake Izabal (the largest lake in Guatemala) that since 1996 was declared a wetland of global importance by the International Ramsar Convention. Since then, the protected area has been co-managed by Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza and the Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas.
This refuge is characterized as a freshwater wetland thanks to its natural ecosystem that filters sediments and nutrients derived from human activities along the Valle del Polochic, which helps to significantly reduce pollution that flows into Lake Izabal and can reach the Caribbean Sea
Bocas del Polochic is the area with the largest number of manatees (Trichechus manatus) in Guatemala and is considered the site of greatest observation of the species in the Gulf of Honduras. In total, the terrestrial and aquatic territory of this protected area covers 20,760 hectares filled with abundant wildlife; the wetland is home to more than 440 species of fauna and 396 species of flora.
Approximately 5,500 people (mostly Mayan ethnic groups) live in the more than 14 communities surrounding the protected area, which directly benefit from the ecological advantages provided by the wetland.
- Izabal, Guatemala.
- 20,760 hectares