Sierra Madre de Chiapas moist forests

El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico

An intermediary ecoregion located between upland pine-oak forests and lowland, coastal dry forests. The area is dominated by rainforest vegetation with a high diversity of amphibians, epiphytic plants and birds.

Sierra Madre de Chiapas


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11,218 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​



Background – Public Domain – United States Government, 1988 / 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!


Food and Homeware: San Miguel Mill


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 native canopy trees like Aspidosperma megalocarpon and Guanandi (Calophyllum brasiliense), 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 trees like Angelica Tree (Dendropanax arboreus), Muttonwood (Turpinia occidentalis), Cymbopetalum penduliflorum, Mosquitoxylum jamaicense and Quararibea funebris, while in more montane areas try the beautiful Quercus peduncularis. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native shrubs like Trophis racemosa and Hedyosmum mexicanum, and consider epiphytes amongst your shrubs like Tillandsia kammii, Tillandsia xerographica and the orchid, Guarianthe aurantiaca. 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 native forest floor groundcovers like the quirky Girlfriend Kiss (Palicourea elata) and native ferns. 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.


In El Salvador, this ecoregion covers a small area in the western frontier with Guatemala, placed between the upland pine-oak forests and coastal lower-lying dry forests. The climate is tropical and humid with mountain ranges creating cooler and wetter periods as precipitation forms. Vegetation communities range between lower montane rainforests and montane rainforests with a wide diversity of orchids, lianas, palms, ferns and broadleaf trees. Wildlife here is as diverse with a particular focus on amphibian diversity; the area has many species of salamanders and frogs, including the endemic and unusual Salvador Worm-salamander. The area has been heavily cleared for agriculture with lower montane rainforests especially so for coffee plantations. Fragmentation of the ecoregion by dense highways and transport routes is also an issue for its future.

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.


A long mountain range stretching many hundreds of kilometres and consisting of marine dolomites and limestones



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.
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.

Monte Cristo Alligator Lizard
(Abronia montecristoi)

Salvador Worm-salamander
(Oedipina salvadorensis)

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

Bat Falcons are important aerial predators hunting a wide array of prey from dragonflies to bats and hummingbirds. As they control the skies, they also control populations of these smaller species, keeping them in check.

Life-support Systems​

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