The Ramsar Secretariat is delighted to announce that the Government of Mexico has designated three interesting new Wetlands of International Importance, to be added to the Ramsar List on the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2005. Here are brief descriptions of the new sites as summarized by Ramsar's Adrian Ruiz-Carvajal from the Ramsar Information Sheets.
Humedales de la Laguna La Popotera (Veracruz; 1,975 hectares; 18°40'N 095°31'W) is an extensive site containing at least 24 wetland types and a large number of marshes, ponds, rivers and sand dunes combined with a thick mangrove forest. The estuarine nature of the waters make the site an ideal resting and breeding ground for numerous species. A total of 78 endangered or threatened species inhabit the area, among them the manatee (Trichechus manatus), river otter (Lontra longicaudis), and an endemic lizard species that resembles a snake (Ophisaurus ceroni). An estimated 300 species of waterfowl inhabit the area. Sugar cane agriculture, cattle ranching and poaching constitute the main potential threats to this site. Ramsar site No.1462. (Photo: Sergio Aguilar)
Laguna de Zacapu (Michoacán; 40 hectares; 19°50'N 101°47'W) is a relatively small lagoon that hosts approximately 1.1% of the Mexican duck population (Anas [platyrhynchos] diazi), as well as at least nine indigenous fish species and the endemic Allotoca zacapuensis, which is only found in this lagoon. The area includes forested and non-forested peatlands as well as underground water reservoirs, among other wetland types. Pollution, increasing sedimentation and the advance of the Zacapu town's frontier all constitute potential threats to this lagoon. Ramsar site No.1465.
Laguna de Zapotlán (Jalisco; 1,496 ha; 19°45'N 103°29'W) is located in the lowest part of the Zapotlán endorreic watershed, and it stands out for hosting a considerable number of threatened and endangered species such as the Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana), the milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), whipsnake (Masticophis flagellum), and Mexican pine snake (Pituophis deppei). It is an area of refuge for an average of 25,000 waterfowl. The site contains around 50 wells and six freshwater springs, and constitutes a key water reservoir in the region, as well as a water body receiving nearly 34,000 m3 of treated urban wastewater. The Zapotlán Lagoon is currently under pressure caused by the surrounding population. Ramsar Site No. 1466.