Situated in the state of Queretaro, Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve covers an area of more than 946,000 acres (383,000 hectares) consisting of 15 types of vegetation including evergreen and deciduous tropical forest, shrubs and cacti, oak forests, pine forests and cloud forests.
The aim of the project is to permanently protect the biodiversity of Sierra Gorda by purchasing areas of threatened habitat that are still under private ownership to create wildlife reserves.
Other projects in Mexico:
2,300 species of vascular plants have been recorded within the reserve, including: Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides), Ceiba, Mayan Breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum), Tree Cholla, Elm, Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus echinocactus), Chapote (Diospyros texana) and Peyote (Lophophora diffusa).
Mexico’s richest area for mammal diversity with 131 recorded species including: Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Neotropical Otter (Lutra longicaudis), Porcupine (Coendu mexicanus), Kinkajou (Potus flavus) and Queretaro Pocket Gopher (Cratogeomys neglectus).
Sierra Gorda is home to all six cat species found in Mexico: Jaguar (Panthera onca), Puma (Puma concolor), Bobcat (Felis rufus), Margay (Leopardus wiedii), Ocelot (Felis pardalis) and Jaguarundi (Felis yagouaroundi).
327 species of birds have been recorded including: Military Macaw (Ara militaris), Great Curassow (Crax rubra), Bearded Wood-Partridge (Dendrortyx barbatu) and the Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi).
Although called a reserve, much of the land inside Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve boundaries is in private ownership and therefore unprotected.
- Threats include: cattle ranching, slash and burn forest clearance, illegal hunting, timber extraction and inefficient agricultural practices which lead to soil erosion.
- Mining and associated pollution, together with urban sprawl also threaten this biodiverse habitat.
Las Arenitas, San Jose, Las Canalitas, La Tinaja de Climente, El Jagueycito, El Canón del Fresno, Cerro Prieto-Cerro La Luz, Cerro del Pino, Hoya Verde
Total Area supported by WLT: 5,596 acres (2,264 hectares)
As the habitat is so diverse these reserves cover a wide variation in terrain, plants and animal species.
GESG's work in Sierra Gorda also includes programmes with the local communities, such as community improvement and environmental education. In addition, GESG is involved with Sierra Gorda Eco-tours, an eco-tourism programme that reinvests the revenues generated back into the Reserve's environmental protection and community development programmes.