La Chorrera Private Natural Reserve – Tamaxán, Manchón Guamuchal is a specially protected area, as defined in the Protected Areas Law (Decreee 4-89); it has been included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Wetland Convention since 1995. Because most of ita area is private property, its administration and conservation are the responsability of the owners. In the case of Finca Tamashan, because it is a Private Natural Reserve, it is managed by the owner (Dix and Hernández 2001, p. 14). The La Chorrera Manchón Guamuchal reserve covers 1,243 ha. Manchón Guamuchal es el largest marine coastal wetland in the Guatemalan Pacific coast.
It is located in the Southwest, in the township of Ocós, San Marcos, and in the Southeast in the townships of Retalhuleu and Champerico, in the Retalhuleu province, at Latitude : 14° 22' 48"; Longitude: 92° 01' 27". It has more than 25,000 ha of which 7,650 ha is mangrove forest surrounded by private farms, making up the region with the largest mangrove coverage in Guatemala (Interamerican Foundation for Tropical Investigation).
Manchón Guamuchal has different types of vegetation, with subtropical dry forest in the south and humid forest in the north. It has a complex aquatic system made up of beaches with dune vegetation, dry forests, mangrove forests, willows and swamplands (FIIT, 1995, p. 28). Mangrove is the most abundant of the vegetation types, including Rhizophora mangrove L. (red mmangrove), Laguncularia racemosa C.F. Gaertn. (white mmangrove), Avicennia germinans (L.) L. (black mmangrove), y Conocarpus erectus L. (buttonwood) (Dix and Hernández 2001, p.12; Sigüenza, R. and Aguirre, G., 1999, p 29).
The red mangrove forest is the most common in the region, where large extensions of only this type of mangrove can be found (32.33 km2), influenced by the tide cicles, and generally with high salinity (FIIT, 1995, p. 28).
Manchón Guamuchal has a rich and diverse fauna. 42 species of saltwater and estuary fish have been found in the area, as well as 20 species of amphibians, 58 species of reptiles, 185 species of birds and 98 mammals. Aside from having the last known population of Crocodylus acutus Cuvier (american crocodile) in southern Guatemala and Panthera onca L. (jaguar), it is also the most important winter home for migratory birds in the western route (Dix and Hernández 2001, p. 12; Sigüenza, R. and Aguirre, G., 1999, p. 22).