Extract taken from an email sent to WLT last month from Programme Manager, Kirsty Burgess, during her visit to look at a new project site in Central Mexico.
26th March 2007, Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico
All going well here out here in Sierra Gorda, and it has certainly been a very productive visit so far. We've spent part of our time meeting with the local organisation, Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda at their offices, then the rest of the time in the field looking at previous land purchase projects, potential forest restoration sites and watershed restoration/erosion prevention projects. Last Friday was particularily interesting, as we travelled to the far north-eastern tip of the Biosphere Reserve to look at a potential 400ha land purchase site in an area of humid, but high altitude oak-pine forest with thousand-year-old endemic cycads in abundance there.
The range of habitats here is great – diverse, and not at all what I have been familiar with. Driving to Jalpan (where the organisation's office is located) through the biosphere reserve, there's fairly sharp transitions from semi-desert scrub (with some great cacti) to cloud forest mostly of pine and oak and then to dry deciduous forest. Although its spring here, and the oak forest is also just putting out its new leaves, the new leaves are various shades of brown and red, so it looks like a UK autumn. Only a few wildlife sightings so far – although plenty of Jaguar evidence including paw prints, and scats. Another interesting element is that the whole area is limestone, so there are sink holes all over the place, plus lots of un explored caves with no doubt a healthy bat population!
Best wishes and see you all soon,