Mexico designates its 67th Ramsar site

Mexico designates its 67th Ramsar site

21 May 2007
Mexico

Mexico designates 67th Ramsar site

The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to announce that, just a week after Mexico's 66th Ramsar site was added to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, the paperwork has been completed for the designation of its 67th, also effective World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2007. Ramsar's Assistant Advisor for the Americas, Ms Mila Llorens, summarizes the new site thus: Parque Estatal Lagunas de Yalahau (5,683 hectares, 20º38'N 089º13'W) in Yucatán state, comprises a series of continental wetlands, with lagoons and deep underground water reservoirs being the most representative. The underground reservoirs are typical of the karstic systems of the Yucatan Peninsula. This, combined with the topography of the region, allows a diversity of habitats which host a variety of animal and plant species, many of which are migratory, endemic and/or in danger of extinction; among the latter are the Northern Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana), the Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata), the Tayra (Eira barbara), the Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), the Margay (Leopardus wiedii) and the Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). During winter, the park gives shelter to migratory birds, and during the dry season, the lagoons and the deep underground water reservoirs provide a source of water for species like the Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletti), the White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and the Jaguar (Panthera onca). The dominant vegetation type is tropical deciduous forest with more than 200 plant species, a high number given the small size of the area. The low inundated forests, found in small portions adjacent to the lagoons, are dominated by tree species such as Dalbergia glabra, Haematoxylum campechianum, and Mimosa bahamensi). Land and cattle activities are common in the site. Illegal hunting is the main activity negatively affecting the site. Areas previously affected by anthropogenic activity are already under restoration. [21/05/07]