Gulf of Fonseca mangroves

El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua

A wide bay of mangrove communities surrounding the Gulf of Fonseca from El Salvador in the west to Nicaragua in the east.

Gulf of Fonseca mangroves


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1,554 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​



Background – CC Attribution 3.0 Unported – davidjoviera, 2012 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International – Every-leaf-that-trembles, 2020

Help your Ecoregion
So what can you do to help your ecoregion? Below is a list to help you support your ecoregion, while also achieving life's everyday tasks. Don’t underestimate your power in doing good for nature!


Holidays: Las Flores Resort


At Home
Below is a list of actions you can easily take at home to minimise your impact on the ecoregion in which you live, and the rest of the planet too!
In your Garden
Below is a list of native plants and habitat creation tips you can use in your garden or on your property to give your ecoregion and its species a boost!


Plant large, native mangrove trees with important roles in this ecoregion such as Gentleman Giant Mangrove (Rhizophora racemosa), if you have space. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native sub-canopy mangroves like Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and Salado Mangrove (Avicennia bicolor). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native shrubs like Spiked Pepper (Piper aduncum) and Leucaena salvadorensis. These plants create dense shrubby refugia for birds and mammals. To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.


Try tolerant, native groundcovers like the sedge Cyperus ligularis and Zip Begonia (Begonia conchifolia). To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.


This large mangrove ecoregion in south-eastern El Salvador is an important buffer between the Pacific Ocean and large towns and other terrestrial ecoregions inland. The mangroves create a protective boundary between ecoregions and perform important life-support systems for nature. In El Salvador, the mangroves are used for shrimp farming; although this leaves the habitat semi-intact, it degrades and alters natural ecological processes. Other threats include vegetation clearing for urbanisation including airports and highways, and climate change causing storm surges that inundate coastal flats and forests. Many species of marine animals include sea-turtles, wading birds and migratory insects utilise these mangrove systems for habitat, feeding stop-overs and for breeding.

Ecoregion Structure
The structure of the ecoregion is defined as the key living and non-living features characterising its ecosystems, and the differences between how these ecosystems are arranged. For example, layers of vegetation, geology, habitat features and landscapes.


Food and Homeware: San Miguel Mill


Brackish and marine coastal estuaries, bays and islands



Iconic Landscapes

Native plant communities

Scenes by @blueringmedia
Ecoregion Composition
The composition of the ecoregion is defined as the biodiversity that inhabits its ecosystems, and the differences between this biodiversity. For example, communities, populations, species, subspecies and genetic traits.
Keystone Species​
Keystone species are those that have a disproportionately large effect on the ecosystems in which they live, relative to their natural abundance there. In other words, species with a really important role in the health of ecosystems.

Gentleman Giant Mangrove
(Rhizophora racemosa)

Flagship Species
Flagship species are those that are chosen by people to represent a wider conservation message, usually for a given place or social context, and as such often carry conservation messages for wider biodiversity.

Hawksbill Sea-turtle
(Eretmochelys imbricata)

Reddish Egret
(Egretta rufescens)

Recently Extinct Species
All around the world, biodiversity is declining at a concerning rate. For some species it's already too late, and they have disappeared from the ecoregions they once called home. These are some examples of those lost species.
Ecoregion Function
The function of the ecoregion is defined as how its structural and compositional components all work together to form ecological relationships and processes which change over time through geological shifts and evolution by natural selection.

Keystone Relationships

Green Parrot Snakes are keen predators in mangroves and lowland rainforests. They are omnivores meaning they catch birds, frogs, lizards and insects and are an important component of mangrove food-chains.

Life-support Systems​

Biodiversity is fundamental to a healthy planet and thriving communities, but the world's species are under tremendous threat.