The Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Cuatrociénegas (or Cuatro Ciénegas) is an arid zone, with around 500 water bodies of varied shapes and shades of blue, surrounded by mountains where unique species of this region have developed.
The Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Cuatrociénegas (or Cuatro Ciénegas) is an arid zone, with around 500 water bodies of varied shapes and shades of blue, surrounded by mountains where unique species of this region have developed. It is also a Ramsar Wetland.
In these water bodies, pozas, there are 33 endemic species and stromatolites. Among the many aquatic species in the Reserve are three endemic turtles (Coahuilan box turtle, Cuatro Ciénegas slider and Cuatro Cienegas softshell), eight endemic fish (Minckley's cichlid, Cuatro Cienegas shiner, Tufa darter, Bolson pupfish, Cuatro Cienegas pupfish, Cuatrociengas gambusia, Cuatrocienegas killifish and northern platyfish), as well as several endemic crustaceans and gastropods, especially hydrobiid freshwater snails.
Live stromatolites inhabit Cuatro Ciénegas' pools. These are colonies of certain types of cyanobacteria, extirpated in most of the world, linked to the origin of an oxygen rich atmosphere over 3 billion years ago. A tiny copepod crustacean, Leptocaris stromatolicolus, is known only from the interstices of these stromatolites and bottom sediments in the saline pools.
The color of the water varies from deep blue to turquoise. Moreover, the site hosts important resources such as gypsum outcrops, which forms the second largest dune field in the Americas and provides habitat for endemic species of the site.
In the site, conservation projects are developed and promoted in the context of sustainable development which strives at preserving the environment and enhancing the quality of life of the rural communities living in and around the site.