A further four Ramsar sites for Mexico


Mexico names four new Ramsar sites

Headline story. Four more Ramsar sites for Mexico. It will be recalled that on World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2008, the government of Mexico announced the designation of an additional 45 sites as Wetlands of International Importance. As the paperwork is being completed for these new designations, last week we announced that seven of them have been added to the Ramsar List, and today we are pleased to add four more. With many more to follow.

These brief site descriptions for the Annotated Ramsar List are by Mila Llorens, Assistant Advisor for the Americas.

Laguna Xola-Paramán. 02/02/08; Jalisco; 775 ha.; 19°44'N 105°16'W. Marine Turtle Sanctuary. A coastal wetland is representative of the transition between the Neartic and Neotropical biogeographic regions. The lagoon is surrounded by low forest vegetation and characterized by small bays of sandy beaches and rocky areas that are part of small alluvial valleys. The mangrove species Laguncularia racemosa, Avicennia germinans and Conocarpus erectus are an important source of nutrients. The site is of great importance for the reproduction of migratory and resident waterfowl, including Ardea herodias, Egretta rufescens, Mycteria americana, Larus heermanni, Sterna elegans and Sterna antillarum, all of which are under special protection. It supports flora species such as Bursera spp., Eysenhardtia polistachya, Acacia pennatula, Forestiera spp., among others. The marine turtles Dermochelys coriacea, Lepidocheys olivacea, and Chelonia agassizi spawn on the beach next to the lagoon, which is under protection by the National Council of Protected Areas of Mexico as a Marine Turtle Sanctuary. Salt extraction and fishing are the main activities carried out in the site. Currently, it shows different states of deterioration, affected mainly by mangrove deforestation, agricultural practices, and pollution of water through agrochemicals. Ramsar site no. 1768. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Río Sabinas. 02/02/08; Coahuila de Zaragoza; 603 ha; 27°53'N 101°09'W. Natural Resources Protection Area. The Rio Sabinas sub-basin, belonging to the Neartic region and influenced by Neotropical elements, is considered one of the most important of the state of Coahuila and its protection, conservation and restoration are considered a high priority for its great ecological and economical importance. The vegetation of the area is mainly represented by semiarid brushes and small oak communities and riparian vegetation. It supports endemic species such as Yucca coahuilenses. Among the endangered species supported are the Castor canadensis mexicanus, Erethizon dorsatum couesi, and the Ursus americanus eremicus. Its name comes from the great number of Montezuma Bald cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) found along the shores of the river. Ramsar site no. 1769. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Sistema Estuarino Boca del Cielo. 02/02/08; Chiapas; 8,931 ha; 15°48'N 93°35'W. Marine Turtle Reserve. Coastal wetland with predominantly dune and coastal brush vegetation. The site is important for the spawning of three endangered turtle species: Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriacea, and Chelonia agassizi. The marshes and channels are strongly influenced by mangrove vegetation, including Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Avicenia germinans and Conocarpus erecta. The system supports endangered and threatened species of migratory and resident birds, and commercial and subsistence fishing is practiced along the beaches. The main threats include the plundering of turtle nests, pollution of the spawning zones, the construction of infrastructure and tourist development, tropical depressions, thunderstorms, and hurricanes that lead to flooding. Environmental education and public awareness programs are developed through a project for the conservation and protection of marine turtles. Ramsar site no. 1770. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Zona Sujeta a Conservación Ecológica Cabildo-Amatal. 02/02/08; Chiapas; 2,832 ha; 14º46'N 092º28'W. Located in the coastal planes of the Pacific, the site is considered to be in a good conservation state. It provides shelter for a number of flora and fauna species, including the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), the Boa, Boa constrictor, the Royal Duck, Cairina moschat, the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), the Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana), Snail Kite (Rosthramus sociabilis), Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) and the Margen (Leopardus wiedii), as well as the Mangrove species Rhizophora mangle and Laguncularia racemosa. The main activities practiced in the site are agriculture, livestock and fishing. The main threats include the use of agrochemicals, deforestation, flora and fauna trafficking, furtive hunting, new human settlements, and open dumpsters. Many conservation activities such as mangrove restoration are carried out. Ramsar site no. 1771. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

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