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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The biosphere reserve comprises the ‘Pinacate’ area, the ‘Gran Desierto del Altar’ and the ‘Bahía of Adair’ in the Gulf of California’s border. It is located in the Sonora State in the extreme northeastern Mexico. Geological volcanic formations with craters, dunes, oasis and beaches, and the diversity of plants associations determine its special landscape. In the transition and buffer areas, 129,516 (1990) inhabitants live in ‘ejidos’ or communal properties, mainly engaged in agriculture, forestry, mineral extractions and cattle raising located mainly in the coastal areas. One of the most important economic activities in the transition areas is the existence of international enterprises ‘maquiladoras’, in San Rio Colorado, which engage 5,880 people living in the urban villages. The same economic model is to be implemented in Sonoyta’s village as an ‘Industrial Park’. This ‘industrial development’ model has affected the construction of local alternatives for sustainable practices in the reserve. Another of the principal constraints for a management plan according to the biosphere reserve model is the lack of water supply for the population and the degradation of natural resources (including over-exploitation of marine species in the Gulf of California and Puerto Peñasco). Handicraft and tourism have been declining. The principal goal of the biosphere reserve is to protect the core areas, ‘Sierra el Pinacate y Bahía Adair’ and create sustainable development alternatives compatible with desert ecosystems for local inhabitants, regulate extraction activities and facilitate scientific research.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm deserts and semi-deserts including coastal/marine component; subtropical sea and river delta
  Major habitats & land cover types   Shallow coastal water of the upper Gulf of California; halophylous vegetation; coastal and Colorado River Delta wetlands; Gran Desierto dunes; shrub of arid land and Delta’s islands; granite mountain range; agroecosystems
  Location   31°01' to 32°22'N; 112°59' to 115°13'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,649,312
  Core area(s)   434,285
  Buffer zone(s)   1,215,027
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -50 to +1,290
  Year designated   1993, extension 1995
  Administrative authorities   Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca (SEMARNAP) Camino al Ajusco 200, 3er piso, Jardines en la Montaña, Tlalpan, C.P. 14210, México, D.F. Tel: (653) 536 37 57, (653) 536 81 31 Fax: (653) 536 37 57 E-mail:;;

Last updated: 18/09/2007

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