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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Situated on the Caribbean coast in the southeast of the country, on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula in the State of Quintana, the reserve lies on a partially emerged coastal limestone plain, and includes part of the extensive barrier reef system.. It is covered by medium altitude semi-evergreen forests, medium and low altitude semi-deciduous forest; palm savannah formations, freshwater and saltwater marshes, petenes (or hammocks), mangroves and, dunes. A total of 4,000 plant and 28 mammal species have been recorded, including five species of cat, jaguar, puma, Central American tapir and Caribbean manatee. Due to the great diversity of aquatic habitats, marine and wading birds are well represented. Twenty-three Mayan sites have been recorded in the reserve, while Tulum, one of the most visited Mexican archaeological sites, the Chunyaxché ruins, Vigia del Lago and Xamach, are just to the north. There are 800 inhabitants (1999) mainly of Mayan origin, living in the reserve and practicing subsistence agriculture, and fishing, . The reserve is subject to important pressures from tourism, immigration and colonization. Research is focusing on basic science and its application to the management and conservation of natural resources. El Ramonal experimental plot has been used to develop agricultural techniques that preserve the delicate Yucatan soil, using mixed cropping and crop rotation. Twinned with Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve in Cuba, it is also envisaging an agreement with the Everglades National Park in the USA.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forests; wetlands; coastal and marine ecosystems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Semi-evergreen tropical humid forest; mangroves; marshlands; coastal dunes; woodlands; water bodies; coastal lagoons; marine bays influenced by freshwater; coral reefs; agriculture
  Location   19°05' to 20°06'N; 87°30' to 87°58'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   528,148
  Core area(s)   279,704
  Buffer zone(s)   248,444
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +10
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP); Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) Camino al Ajusco 200, 3er piso, Jardines en la Montaña, Tlalpan, C.P. 14210, México, D.F. Tel/Fax: (998) 849 75 54 E-mail:;

Last updated: 18/09/2007

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