The La Michilía Biosphere Reserve is a natural protected area in Mexico, located south of Durango between the two mountain ranges of the Sierra Michis and the Sierra Urica. The area between these two Sierras has several plateaus and small hills, separated by valleys and canyons of varying depths.
La Michilía Biosphere Reserve
The La Michilía Biosphere Reserve is a natural protected area in Mexico, located 75 km (47 mi) south of Durango in the Sierra de Michis, a branch of the Sierra Madre Occidental.
The La Michilía Biosphere Reserve comprises 9,421 ha (23,280 acres), and its core area is Cerro Blanco, with approximately 3,000 ha (7,400 acres)
The Reserve's physiographic limits are two mountain ranges: the Sierra Michis and the Sierra Urica. The area between these two Sierras has several plateaus and small hills, separated by valleys and canyons of varying depths.
The topography of the La Michilía Biosphere Reserve is marked by a high degree of relief. There are several ephemeral streams and lagoons besides the two permanent streams: Laurel to the west and Temascal to the southeast.
Pine and Holm's oak forests cover the greater part of the Reserve. There are also marshy meadows in the core area.
There are five types of vegetation in the La Michilía Biosphere Reserve: Conifer forest (Pinus, Quercus-Pinus, Pseudotsuga spp, Cupressus and Juniperus), Oak (Quercus) forest, grasslands, xerophilous shrubland, as well as aquatic and subaquatic vegetation. The Biosphere Reserve hosts 770 species of vascular plants.
The fauna in the Biosphere Reserve is predominantly of Nearctic origin with North American affinities. The Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis) used to live in the area but is now extinct. The Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyii) and the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) have been reintroduced to the Reserve.
Among the most important vertebrate species are the White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the Puma (Puma concolor), the Coyote (Canis latrans), the Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), the Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha), and the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Its forests are a catchment area for two important basins for the region's agriculture. Over 500 inhabitants live in the buffer zones and 30,000 in the transition areas, engaged in agriculture, forestry and cattle ranching.