Honduras is a country in Central America. Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.
The region is considered a biodiversity hotspot because of the many plant and animal species found there. Like other countries in the region, it contains vast biological resources. Honduras hosts more than 6,000 species of vascular plants, of which 630 are orchids; around 250 reptiles and amphibians, more than 700 bird species, and 110 mammalian species, of which half are bats.
In the northeastern region of La Mosquitia lies the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a lowland rainforest which is home to a great diversity of life. The reserve was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 1982.
Honduras has rain forests, cloud forests, mangroves, savannas and mountain ranges with pine and oak trees, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. In the Bay Islands there are bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, parrot fish, schools of blue tang and whale shark.
Deforestation resulting from logging is rampant in Olancho Department. The clearing of land for agriculture is prevalent in the largely undeveloped La Mosquitia region, causing land degradation and soil erosion. Honduras had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.48/10, ranking it 126th globally out of 172 countries.
Lake Yojoa, which is Honduras's largest source of fresh water, is polluted by heavy metals produced from mining activities. Some rivers and streams are also polluted by mining.