Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CHAMELA-CUIXMALA Biosphere Reserve

The diversity of both aquatic and terrestrial habitats in this heterogeneous environment are such that there is a great variety of animals, including 540 vertebrate species. There are 72 mammal species, 270 bird species, 68 reptile species, 19 amphibian species and 110 fish species found in the park (Ceballos 1989; Arizmendi et al. 1991; Arizmendi et al. 2002; Espinosa et al. 2002; García y Ceballos 1996; Ramírez-Bautista y Vitt, 1997; Ceballos et al. 1999). Invertebrate studies conclude that there are 1877 arthropod species, 14 of which are in the class arachnid and 1863 in the class hexapod (Pescador-Rubio et al. 2002; Noguera et al. 1996). Among the species found in the park listed as endangered by the Official Mexican Ecological Register 059 (NOM-ECOL-059) are the green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles. Other endangered reptiles found in the park are the Mexican-bearded lizard (Heloderma horridum), the green iguana (Iguana iguana), and the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). In terms of mammals, the reserve boasts the jaguar (Panthera onca), the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and the margay (Leopardus wiedii). Birds found in the park include the yellow-headed parrot (Amazona oratrix), the green macaw (Ara militaris), the muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) and the least tern (Sterna antillarum). The IUCN lists the following species as endangered: A. oratrix, C. Mydas, and L. olvidacea. Listed as vulnerable are C. acutus, A. militaris, and H. horridium and as critical are the turtles E. imbricata and D. coriacea (IUCN 2002).

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