NCI Continues Conservation
Efforts in the Dry Forests of Mexico
Protecting some of
the most biologically diverse and ecologically sensitive
habitats in the region
At the Rancho Ecológico – Monte Mojino,
the northernmost tropical dry forest in the Americas, NCI's partner
Pronatura Mexico received a forest purchase grant from the National
Committee of The Netherlands - The World Conservation Union (NC-IUCN)
for the purchase of 800 additional acres along the Cuchujaqui River.
This purchase protects some of the most biologically diverse and
ecologically sensitive habitats in the region. Native endemic catfish
will receive additional protection through this purchase in addition
to the Mouse Opossum and the Violet-fronted Parrot. The funds will
enhance current reserve design that now protects 10,000 hectares
of this New World tropical deciduous forest.
in this region, the Overbrook Foundation is supporting an analysis
of watershed service options and NCI is working with its partner
ProNatura to seek additional financing for watershed management.
These watersheds are the most biodiverse and sensitive ecosystems
in the area, but past misguided water pumping projects have left
graveyards of dead cypress and other tropical dry forest species.
The town of Alamos (population ~12,000) depends on water from
the Chuchajaqui River, in addition to the community of Sabanito,
named for the majestic Cypress species that line the riverbanks.
Families scattered throughout the region are also keenly aware
of the importance of maintaining the local forest which guarantees
their water supply.
NCI has also received several generous donations
from private donors in the San Diego region, which will enable
project leaders to meet with ranchers in the Rancho Ecológico
area who control tens
of thousands of hectares of tropical dry forest. The project leaders
will discuss best practices for the management of the land, and
will also use the funds for publicity and to develop and print
a management brochure. Since ranchers control 75% of federally
protected lands, it is imperative that they practice environmentally-sensitive
management techniques. Poorly managed areas can damage the local
ecosystem and lead to water pollution problems.
Finally, The CRES group at the San Diego Zoo
will be carrying out conservation related research on Palm species
at NCI sites in Mexico and Peru. The focus in Mexico will be on
developing best practices for sustainable management of a blue
palm species along small streams, which can be used for roofing
material for the local tourism industry, and for baskets which
we plan to sell at the zoo.
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