(Versión española aquí)
Mexico is considered a “mega-diverse” country, as part of the select group of nations possessing the greatest number and variety of animals and plants, almost 70% of global species diversity. For some authors, the group comprises 12 countries: Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Congo, Madagascar, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. Other, up the list to more than 17, adding to Papua New Guinea, South Africa, United States, Philippines and Venezuela.
Mexico contains three sections of 34 “priority ecoregions or hotspots” of the planet. The “hotspots” are regions with at least 1,500 endemic species of vascular plants with flowers (more than 0.5 percent of the total species in the world) and have lost at least 70% of the original extent of their habitat:
. Pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre (including the Sierra Madre del Sur and Neovolcanic system).
. Mesoamerica, which includes the southeast of Mexico and the Atlantic coast, the Pacific and Balsas Basin.
. The southern portion of California Floristic Province.
Mexico has 3 of the 37 “Wilderness Areas” of the planet. These areas account for 70% or more of their original habitat in good condition, cover at least 10,000 km2 and have a density of less than 5 persons per square kilometer:
. The Chihuahuan Desert, which covers the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon
. The Sonoran Desert, which occupies Sonora
. The Desert of Baja California, located in both states of the peninsula of Baja California
Mexico is the country of America together with Brazil, with the largest number of Centres of Plant Diversity. 13 of the 75 centers of plant diversity in the American continent are in Mexico:
Selva Lacandona (Chiapas)
The Selva Lacandona, also called “Desert of Solitude” is located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The region is populated by the Mayan people Lacandon, hence its name.
Jungle Chimalpas. In Zoque language, Chimalapa means: gold gourd; Chima gourd and gold macaw. This forest is located in what is known as the Sierra Atravesada in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas.
Sierra Juárez (Oaxaca)
The Sierra de Juarez is part of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in the north of Chiapas.
The Biosphere Reserve Tehuacán-Cuicatlán is a protected natural area located between the states of Puebla and Oaxaca, in southeastern Mexico.
Cañón del Zopilote (Guerrero)
Because of its great ecological wealth and be one of the most imposing canyons in the world, the December 8, 1980 was declared “Sumidero Canyon” National Park with an area of 21,789 hectares. On February 2, 2004, the park area was also declared as a Ramsar site in Mexico.
Sierra de Manantlán y Tierras Bajas (Jalisco)
Majestic Biosphere Reserve in Colima and Jalisco, which is threatened by mining.
Tierras Bajas Pacifico, Chamela y Cumbres de Cuixmala (Jalisco)
Biosphere Reserve since 1993.
Cuenca Alta del Río Mezquital (Durango)
One of the most productive and rich in biodiversity wetlands of the Pacific.
Región de Gómez Farías (Tamaulipas)
It has 4 ecosystems that have not been altered by humans.
Cuatro Ciénegas (Coahuila)
Important ecological reserve, home to several endemic organisms.
Sierra Madre Occidental (Chihuahua)
The lungs of northern Mexico.
Centro y norte de la Península de Baja California.
With their candles, cacti, and saguaros.