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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Located between the Neotropical biogeographical region, the biosphere reserve is situated in the ‘Sierra de Cucharas’, a mountainous chain derived from the large Sierra Madre Chain. It is one of the most ecologically rich and diverse places of Mexico. It comprises 14 vegetation types, dominated by the tropical sclerophyllous forest. The conservation of the ecosystems of El Cielo is essential: they host a number of threatened plants and animal species as the oso negro (Ursus americanus), jaguaroundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), tigrillo (Leopardus wiedii), jaguar (Pantera onca), ocelote (Leopardus pardalis), and cabeza de viejo (Eira barbara). The local population of 6,208 inhabitants (1999), dispersed in 47 communities, are mainly engaged in seasonal agriculture as maize, beans, pumpkin and fruits crops, hunting and forestry exploitation. Local communities lack minimal public services as potable water, electricity and good health conditions. Programmes on ecotourism development, environmental education and biotic monitoring and as well as research on ethnobotany have taken place. The biosphere reserve’s principal goal is to implement integral projects on social development and environmental research under the reserve’s administration council. The reserve receives 1,000 national and 300 international visitors every year (1999).
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate grasslands (sierras)
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mountain cloud forest; tropical sub-deciduous forest; oak-pine forests; desert scrub; riparian vegetation
  Location   22°55' to 23°25'N; 99°05' to 99°26'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   144,531
  Core area(s)   36,539.06
  Buffer zone(s)   107,991.45
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +200 to +2,200
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Jaime SALAZAR CANALES, Vocal Ejecutivo de la Comisión Estatal de Vida Silvestre, Secretaría de Finanzas del Gobierno del Estado de Tamaulipas, Palacio de Gobierno, 1er piso, Col. Centro C.P. 87000. Tel.: (834) 318 94 77 Fax: (834) 318 94 75
  Brief description   Geology
Vegetation in the mountain environment
Land tenure surveys
Population dynamics evaluation
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geology.
  Biodiversity   Mountain and highland systems, population genetics/population dynamics, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Land tenure.
  Contact address   Elda Vásque Farías
Comisión Estatal de Vida Silvestre, Secretaría de Finanzas del Gobierno del Estado de Tamaulipas
Palacio de Gobierno, 1er piso
87000 Col. Centro
  Telephone   (52.834) 318 94 83
  Fax   (52.834) 318 94 75

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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