The Guatemalan black howler is known to occur in six protected areas: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Guanacaste and Monkey Bay National Parks (Belize); Rio Dulce and Tikal National Parks (Guatemala); and Palenque National Park (Mexico) (2).
Additionally, a community-based conservation organization in Belize called the Community Baboon Sanctuary (this species is called 'baboon' in the local Creole dialect) has protected land along the Belize River, ensuring that this howler’s food trees are not destroyed to make way for pasture (10). Over 200 private landowners here in seven villages, stretching over 20 square miles, have voluntarily pledged to conserve their land for the protection of the Guatemalan black howler, many of which will consequently benefit from ecotourism. Indeed, one of the main aims of the Community Baboon Sanctuary is to help address habitat destruction by promoting sustainable tourism as an attractive alternative to destructive land management practices. At the same time, the Sanctuary conducts conservation research and educates the local community and visitors about the importance of biodiversity (8).
Other conservation measures implemented by the Sanctuary include creative initiatives like building bridges made of rope and sticks that allow the monkeys to pass between gaps in the forest, and relocating a number of individuals to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (8). If similar efforts were made in Mexico and Guatemala, and ecotourism was promoted as a viable means of profiting from protected forest habitats, the Guatemalan black howler would perhaps have a much higher chance of long-term survival.