Mexico’s new Ramsar Sites

The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the paperwork has been completed for an additional four Wetlands of International Importance for Mexico, bringing that country's total number of Ramsar Sites to 133, second only to the UK's 169. They are:

Área Natural Protegida Estatal Presa de Silva y Zonas Aledañas. 02/02/11; Guanajuato; 3,934 ha; 20°55'37"N 101°50'48"W. State Natural Protected Area. A number of dams with shallow waters presenting different habitats, including emerged vegetation and flooded vegetation areas whose climatic, trophic, structural and functional characteristics make them important sites for aquatic birds, both resident and migratory. The migratory birds share distribution of habitat with the USA and Canada within the Central Americas Flyway. There are records of 79 species of birds in the site such as Anas platyrhynchos diazi, Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos, Fulica americana, Recurvirostra americana, Ardea alba, Egretta thula, and Charadrius vociferus, among others. The site plays an important role in sustaining terrestrial wildlife under adequate water quality conditions in the region. The Ramsar Site is located within the Natural Protected Area Presa de Silva y Zonas Aledañas declared in 1997 and contains a portion outside the protected area, including important groundwater recharge areas and other streams that have to be protected as well. Ramsar Site no. 2024. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Lagunas de Santa María-Topolobampo-Ohuira. 02/02/09; Sinaloa; 22,500 ha; 25°36'33"N 109°06'23"W. World Heritage site, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A system of three coastal lagoons, with a total of eight islands: six in Ohuira Bay, one in Topolobampo Bay and one in Santa María Bay. Mangroves include Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Avicennia germinans and Conocarpus erectus. The site is home to 84% of the migratory waterfowl distributed in Mexico during the winter. It is subject to flooding and storms caused by tropical cyclones that regularly occur in the area, so the system functions as a shoreline stabilizer by reducing the energy of runoff caused by rainfall. Among the potential factors that could cause degradation in water quality and landscape are the large amounts of wastewater discharges, especially agricultural runoff, to the coastal zone. Fishing is the most important use in the area. The site is located within the Area of Protection of Flora and Fauna "Islas del Golfo de California", a World Heritage natural site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Ramsar Site no. 2025. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Presa La Vega. 02/02/10; Jalisco; 1,950 ha; 20°37'59"N 103°50'50"W. An artificial wetland including a dam and open water, permanent and intermittent rivers and streams, and the irrigation system surrounding the reservoir. The site has a high socio-economic importance because it is the largest water body in the state's central-western area, which generates jobs and is the main source of water for surrounding irrigation systems. It sustains a diversity of waterfowl species, some of which are protected under national law, such as the wood duck (Aix sponsa), as well as endemic fish like the Butterfly Splitfin (Ameca splendens). The main threat to the site is water pollution from neighboring communities. A management plan adopted in 2008 is being partially implemented. Ramsar Site no. 2026. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Presa Manuel Ávila Camacho (Presa Valsequillo). 02/02/12; Puebla; 23,612 ha; 18º55'00"N 098º10'58"W. Located on the southern side of the municipality of Puebla, the site is part of a network of conservation sites and part of an important wildlife corridor. It is also a center where three key endemism areas of the ecoregions Temperate Sierras and Dry tropical forest converge. The site provides refuge to at least 97 species of migratory birds, representing at least the 42% of the species recorded in the site. It also harbors a wide range of species of birds, mammals and reptiles under national protection, as well as the IUCN Red-Listed Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus). Besides the ecological services that it provides, the long cultural history of the site is an important heritage of humanity. Its zone of influence provides considerable documentation of prehispanic civilizations, including the oldest evidence of human presence in America, and the present city, founded in 1531, was one of the most important colonial cities and is now Mexico's fourth largest. Challenges to the site include urban and industrial growth; and deforestation is a problem for the whole area. Ramsar Site no. 2027. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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