Five new Ramsar Sites in Mexico

15/11/2010

The government of Mexico has designated five new Wetlands of International Importance, bringing Mexico’s total site amount to 119 Ramsar Sites covering 8,225,476 hectares – the Convention’s global total is 1904 Ramsar Sites covering 186,584,279 hectares.

Brief descriptions of the five new sites have been prepared by the Americas team based on the Ramsar Information Sheets submitted to the Secretariat, and further information in Spanish will be available soon. 

La Mintzita02/02/09; Michoacán; 57 ha; 19°38’N 101°16’W. La Mintzita is a reservoir formed by a series of springs. The site is home to species that are protected under Mexican legislation, some of which are threatened, such as the Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis and Skiffia lermae (fish species). The site counts more than a hundred bird species such as the threatened Anas platyrhynchos diazi and Bubo virginianus, and endangered Buteo jamaicensis and Regulus calendula. This wetland plays an important role in the retention of sediments that come from higher altitudes of the catchment area, as well as to filter nutrients produced in the Cointzio Resort. Threats to this Ramsar Site, such as the overuse of water resources, illegal domestic drainage, the deforestation of the gallery forests and human encroachment are activities that should be regulated once the Management Programme for the State Protected Area is finalized. The area is already designated as a Zone Subject to Ecological Preservation and a management plan is currently being prepared to regulate, limit and sanction illegal activities. The plan is expected to be finalized by the end of 2010. Ramsar Site n°1919. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Lago de San Juan de los Ahorcados. 02/02/09; Zacatecas; 1,099 ha; 24°01’N 102°18’W. This wetland is a shallow, natural retention, water body with scarce superficial currents. It has great biodiversity and a high level of endemism, including protected species such as Ferocactus pilosus, Hamatacantus uncinatus, Echinocactus platyacanhtus, Peniocereus greggi, Ariocarpus fissuratus, Lephophora williamsi and Coryphanta poselgeriana. The Aquila chrysaetos and other birds of prey nest in the higher parts of the site, and are protected along with other threatened species such as Crotalus molosus, C. atrox and C. scutulatus. This Ramsar Site is part of the Chihuahua Desert, the biggest desert of North America. It is a refuge for migratory birds and its main land uses are agriculture and livestock. Abusive exploitation of the water resource extracted for irrigation is considered to be the main threat to this site. There is a proposal in progress to declare this area a Protected Natural Area in order to regulate the negative impacts of such activities. Ramsar Site n°1920. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Manglares y humedales del Norte de Isla Cozumel. 02/02/09; Quintana Roo; 32,786 ha; 20°35'N 86°48'W. This Ramsar Site is located in the northern part of Cozumel Island. It is a natural habitat to many endemic but also threatened or endangered species, such as Caretta caretta, Ctenosaura similis, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, among others. The Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber and the White-crowned Pigeon (Columba leucocephala) use this area as their seasonal habitat. It includes mangrove species that are under special protection, such as Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erecta, that represent a natural barrier for the coastline and protect the island from various climate phenomena, reducing the damage caused inland. The main land uses in the site are related to tourism and commerce. Some of the main factors that negatively affect the site include tourism, biodiversity loss, overfishing, water pollution, extraction of material for construction. There is a federal proposal to protect a land portion of the northern part of the island by designating it as an Area for Protection of Flora and Fauna in Cozumel Island (APFFC). Once this area is designated as an APFCC, a Programme of Conservation and Management will be put in place to regulate the activities that negatively affect this site. Ramsar Site n°1921. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

La Alberca de los Espinos. 02/02/09; Michoacán; 33 ha; 19°54´N 101°46´W. The area is characterized by a cineritic cone with a water body in the centre. This Ramsar Site is an importantattraction to both local and international tourists. Inside the crater, there is a tropical deciduous forest and a gallery forest around the lake. The site is home to various species protected by the Mexican legislation including: Cedrela dugesii, Albizia plurijuga and Erythrina coralloides. The most common flora species are Salix bonplandiana, Fraxinus uhdei and Lasiacis sp. The volcanic structure working as a catchment area for the lake, the permanence of healthy forests in the crater contributing to the retention of the sediments removed by erosion are considered as the main hydrological values of the site. In 2003, the site was declared a Natural Protected Area, and is now documented as a Zone of Ecological Preservation. Ramsar Site n°1922. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Laguna de Hanson, Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857. 02/02/10; Baja California; 510 ha; 32°02’N 115°54’W; This Ramsar Site comprises a freshwater lagoon and a floodplain located in the 1857 Constitución National Park. The Hanson lagoon is considered the only natural semi-permanent water body in the forested areas of the Baja California State. Consequently, the site supports important bird populations and plays a significant role in climate regulation for the Baja California Peninsula. The Ramsar Site is also designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) as it provides shelter, rest and reproduction areas for at least 29 bird species including migratory birds such as the Gadwall (Anas streptera) and the Redhead duck (Aythya americana). The main threat to this site comes from the extensive livestock rearing activities undertaken by the communities surrounding the National Park, who use the site as a source of water and food during the summer. Conservation and wise use activities planned to protect this Ramsar Site are currently being revised in a National Park management plan. Ramsar Site n°1923. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Laguna de Hanson



Laguna de Hanson
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