The Motagua Valley. An Inspiring Place to Visit in Guatemala. A Must for Reptile Fans

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

The Motagua Valley. An Inspiring Place to Visit in Guatemala. A Must for Reptile Fans

The Motagua Valley is a desert between two mountain ranges in eastern Guatemala. Falling in the rain shadow of the Sierra de las Minas and the Sierra del Merendón, it is a distinct contrast to most other ecosystems in Guatemala. The habitat here is classed as dry thorn scrub, and receives only 50mm of rain a year. It is a desert amongst cloud forest.

I have been privileged to visit the Motagua Valley several times over the last five years. The presence of cacti and mesquite remind me in many ways of the deserts of Arizona, also a place close to my heart.

This island of desert is home to two endemic lizards, the Guatemalan beaded lizard (Heloderma charlesbogerti) and the Motagua Valley iguana (Ctenosaura palearis), as well as an odd mix of rattlesnakes, boa constrictors, green iguanas, black-tailed iguanas, and whiptails.

That mix of rainforest and desert scrub species makes the Motagua Valley an inspiring place to visit and a must for reptile fans.

One of the most enigmatic lizards in Guatemala, the Guatemalan beaded lizard, is endemic to the Motagua Valley. Just a few hundred adults survive in the wild. Being this close to one was an inspiring experience.

 

Indigo Archives: First Published 8 February 2016

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

Heloderma charlesbogerti, Motagua Valley, Guatemala

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

Dry thorn scrub Photos: Roland Daguerre

Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala
Indigo Expeditions Wildlife Research & Endangered Species Conservation in Guatemala

We’d love to hear about your encounters with heloderma. Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Social using #indigoherpers

CONSERVATION EXPEDITIONS

Published : 8th February 2016

Field Notes Archive

You may also like to read…

When Identifying Coral Snakes

When Identifying Coral Snakes

When Identifying Coral Snakes When identifying coral snakes we often think of  ‘red to black venom lack, red to yellow...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Indigo News