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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Laguna Madre is located in a coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, set 120 km west of Cd. Victoria, the state capital. Its main access is through the federal highway 180. Its estimated population is 499,784 inhabitants. It is located within the Neartic Region inside the province of the Northeastern coast, in which there are 144 species of resident birds, four of which (2.7%) are endemic in Mexico, one more has a distribution restricted to Mexico and neighboring areas (quasi-endemic) and no species restricted to the province. Zoogeographically, this neartic affinity is more evident given the 82% of Northern influence present in the resident and wading species of Laguna Madre. The area comprises the region of Laguna Madre in all its extension, whose longitudinal axis is parallel to the coastline and is bordered by a sandbar 223 km long, has an approximate width of 3 km in the South and 30 km in the North.
One aspect of the biological relevance that Laguna Madre has, is its function as a natural corridor for migratory waterbirds, given the high percentage (59%) of this group compared to the existing records of the area’s avefauna and to the percentage of resident species (38%), stressing the importance of this area as a biogeographical corridor and a possible transition area. Also, the intertidal zones, as well as the beaches, serve as very important habitat for coastal birds. The area is located in the gulf’s migration route, the most important in the continent for birds of prey.
The climate of the Laguna Madre area is varied, and belongs to two major climate groups (according to Köppen’s system modified by García): The Northern part of the Laguna is classified as climate (A)Cx’, temperate semi-warm subhumid with scarce rains all year. The central part is classified as climate BS1(h’)hw, dry, semi-dry very hot, and hot with summer rains. The southern part is classified as climate (A)C(wo) temperate, semi-warm with summer rains, % of winter rains between 5 and 10.2. The average annual precipitation is 682 mm.
In addition, there are two field stations for monitoring and protection of sea turtles and migratory waterbirds.
  Major ecosystem type   Hypersaline wetland
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   572,808
  Core area(s)   317,290.010
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given   234,160.345
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to 90 m
  Year designated   2006
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   A new inventory of natural resources is currently being made. Monitoring studies of migratory bird populations that started 20 years ago are undertaken. There is information about the fisheries in the area, especially of shrimp.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, climate, contaminants, erosion, geology, habitat, heavy metals, hydrology, nutrients, soil, topography.
  Biodiversity   Algae, alien/invasive/exotic/introduced species, amphibians, beach/soft bottom, biodiversity, biology, birds, coastal/marine, community studies/communities, conservation, degraded areas, dune systems, ecosystem assessment, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, endemic species, fauna, fishes, flora, forest systems, freshwater/inland water, genetic resources, invertebrates/insects/spiders, island systems/islands, lagoon systems, mammals, microorganisms, migrating populations/migration, natural medicinal products, natural resources, perturbations/resilience/vulnerability, phenology, plankton, plants, productivity, rare/endangered/threatened species, reintroduction, reptiles, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, species inventorying/inventory, taxonomy, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, agroforestry, aquaculture/mariculture, capacity building, cultural aspects, demography, economic studies, economically important species, fishery/fisheries, forestry, human migration/population exodus, industry, livestock and related impacts/overgrazing, local participation, mining, modelling, natural hazards, non-timber forest products/ntfp, people-nature relations/man/nature, quality economies, recreation, resource use, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Carrying capacity/Sustainability, conflict, ecosystem approach, education and public awareness, environmental change, geographic information system/gis, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, infrastructure, institutional and legal aspects, integrated studies/interdisciplinaty, interdisciplinary studies, land tenure, land use/land cover, landscape inventorying/monitoring, management issues, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation, policy issues, remote sensing, rural systems, sustainable development/sustainable use, transboundary/transfrontiers, urban systems/towns/cities.
  Contact address   Gloria Tavera Alonso


Last updated: 08/03/2011

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