The Mapimí Biosphere Reserve is located in northern Mexico between the Neotropical and neartic biogeographical region, in the Bolson de Mapimí. It contains three core areas: Sierra de la Campana, Laguna de las Palomas (a salted lagoon) and a desert habitat called Dunas de la Soledad.
The Mapimí Biosphere Reserve is located in Durango State in northern Mexico between the Neotropical and neartic biogeographical region, in the Bolson de Mapimí, 1,150 m (3,770 ft) above sea level. It contains three core areas: Sierra de la Campana, Laguna de las Palomas (a salted lagoon) and a desert habitat called Dunas de la Soledad.
It comprises fragile warm desert and semidesert ecosystems (particularly the Chihuahuan desert), with rich, highly adapted but vulnerable plants such as xerophytic matorral. Animal species such as the puma (Puma concolor), venado bura (Odocoileus hemionus), grullas (Grus canadensis) and the zorrita del desierto Vulpes macrotis, along with scrubs and desert grasslands.
72,600 inhabitants (1997) live in the reserve, mainly engaged in extensive cattle raising, salt exploitation and in agriculture. Local population (ranchers and farmers) are involved in conservation and management efforts.
The Mapimí Biosphere Reserve includes the desert ecosystems of the central part of the Chihuahua Desert where there is dominant xerophyllus microphyllus scrubland and chaparral with various compositions forming mosaics of halophyte vegetation in the lower parts. Biologically rich, it includes 403 plant species. Noteworthy are the 39 cactus species. There are approximately 200 species of birds, 5 species of amphibians, 36 species of reptiles and 28 species of mammals.
Endemic species identified are 9 for the Cactaceae family, one for the Cochlospermaceae family and one for the Fouqueriaceae family. Particularly compelling are the Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus), the Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis), the Mexican Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma paraphigas), the Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), the American Badger (Taxidea taxus), the Puma (Puma concolor); and birds such as the Golden Eagle (Aquila crhysaetos).