Región de Calakmul

The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, located at the base of the Yucatan Peninsula, is the largest forest reserve in Mexico. It comprises 723,185 hectares of protected land with some 52 ‘ejidos’, or local communities with almost 23,740 inhabitants (2000) in its buffer zone. It is not an untouched forest, as testify the remnants of Mayan cities, abandoned in A.D. 900. It consists of Tropical humid forest ecosystem type covered with Evergreen tropical humid forest, semi-deciduous forest with low temporally flooded forest, thorn forest and tropical deciduous forest.

Declaration date: 2006
Surface area: 1,371,766 ha
Administrative Division: Municipalities of Calakmul, Candelaria, Champotón, Escárcega and Holpechén in Campeche; José Ma. Morelos and Othon P. Blanco in Quintana Roo; Tekax in Yucatán

Human Activities

Reforestation, recreation, ecotourism, agriculture, animal husbandry, bee-keeping, forestry, fishing, hunting and farm-forestry.

Ecological Characteristics

The Biosphere Reserve is characterized by its size, good state of conservation and continuity with other regions in the Yucatán Peninsula, Chiapas, Guatemala and Belize. It is considered to be the largest forest mass in Mexico and, together with the forests of Guatemala and Belize, the second largest remnant forest left in Latin America after the Amazon. Its great diversity of species responds to regional heterogeneity, where in spite of its scant land forms, high and medium altitude sub-evergreen (moist) forests, medium altitude sub-deciduous (dry) forests (with a predominance of Holywood Lignum-vitae (Guaiacum sanctum)); lowland deciduous forests and savannahs can be found.

This group of forests harbours Mexico’s largest populations of fauna and flora, comprising charismatic or flagship species of biological and ecological importance for the region, such as the Jaguar, the Puma, the Tapir, the White-lipped Pecary, the Howler Monkey and the Spider Monkey, the King Vulture, the Ornate Hawk together with Mahogany, Cedar and Ciricote trees. There are also endemic species of economic and ecological importance for the region such as the Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) Gray Brocket Deer (Galindo-Leal, 1999). Ninety percent of the amphibian species and over 50% of the reptile species reported for the Peninsula are to be found in the region. The land area is very important for birds with over 360 species recorded and it is also considered to be an important geographical area for Neotropical migratory species. (Galindo-Leal, 1999; Berlanga and Wood, 2001).

Protection Classifications

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Balam Kú State Reserve, Balam Kin State Reserve.

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                                                                                             Last update: July 2012

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