To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Arrecife Alacranes forms the largest coral structure of the Gulf of Mexico. It is also the only known and described coral reef of the state of Yucatan. Most of the reef has been built by the calcification of overlapping colonies of various species of corals for thousands of years. The dynamic rise of the islands and their constant change due to storms and tides contributes to the dynamics of the vegetation distribution and cover. The Arrecife Alacranes has high biodiversity and great potential for fishing. It is an important area of preservation of germplasm of many endangered, endemic and other species that are useful to humans. The vegetation of the islands consists of species of mangrove and coastal dunes. The Arrecife Alacranes is also considered important cultural heritage for its stranded boats, buildings and the lighthouse which are historic monuments. The site is of great importance for the coastal communities as a source of food and marine products for local, national and international trade, as well as for recreation and domestic and foreign tourism with high potential for generating jobs for ecotourism activities.
  Major ecosystem type   coral reef
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   22 21’ 45’’ and 22 34’ 55’ latitud N and 89 36’ 47’’ and 89 47’ 53’’ longitud W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   333,768
  Core area(s)   31, 670.09
  Buffer zone(s)   302, 098.41
  Transition area(s) when given   553,506
  Altitude (metres above sea level)  
  Year designated   2006
  Administrative authorities   Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP-SEMARNAT)
  Brief description   Since 1960, scientific studies were contacted at the site by the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute. These studies formed the basis for drafting the proposal to protect the area and that since then carries out research projects, evaluation and monitoring of ecological conditions in Arrecife Alacranes.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Physical oceanography/oceans.
  Biodiversity   Algae, autoecology/synecology, benthos, biodiversity, biogeography, biology, biotechnology, birds, coastal/marine, conservation, coral reefs, ecology, ecosystem assessment, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, endemic species, ethology, fauna, fishes, flora, genetic resources, invertebrates/insects/spiders, island systems/islands, mangrove, migrating populations/migration, natural medicinal products, natural resources, plankton, plants, species inventorying/inventory, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Cultural aspects, economically important species, fishery/fisheries, indicators, resource use, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Ecosystem approach, education and public awareness, geographic information system/gis, institutional and legal aspects, interdisciplinary studies, land tenure, land use/land cover, landscape inventorying/monitoring, management issues, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address   René Humberto Kantun Palama
Calle 18, No. 120. Col. Itzimná
97100 Mérida Yucatán
  Telephone   (999) 938 07 09
  Web site

Last updated: 08/03/2011

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO