The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is located in the State of Queretaro in northern Mexico. Its strategic biogeographical position between the Arctic Neotropical and the Mesoamerican Mountain regions makes Sierra Gorda one of the most ecologically rich and diverse places in Mexico.
Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is located in the State of Queretaro in northern Mexico. The Biosphere Reserve extends for about 400,000 ha (988,400 acres) over the states of Querétaro and San Luis Potosí.
Its strategic biogeographical position between the Arctic Neotropical and the Mesoamerican Mountain regions makes Sierra Gorda one of the most ecologically rich and diverse places in Mexico.
The ecosystems of the reserve include rugged mountains, canyons, lush valley and "sótanos" or pit caves carved out from the limestone of the Huasteca Karst.
The rugged topography of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve – with altitudes ranging from 260 to 3,100 m (850 to 10,170 ft) above sea level, rainfall fluctuating between 350 and 1,800 mm (13 and 70 in) and its location in the convergence of the Nearctic, Neotropical and Mountain Mesoamerica realms – all contribute to a wide mosaic of habitats.
The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve harbors 15 types of vegetation: evergreen forest, sub-evergreen forest, subdeciduous forest, deciduous forest, sub-montane shrubland, cloud forest, oak forest, pine forest, juniper forest, fir forest, Alpine chaparral, temperate grasslands, xerophyllus grassland, xerophyllus scrubland and riparian gallery forest.
The fauna and flora include 1,718 species of vascular plants and 124 species of macromicetes, in addition to 131 species of mammals, 363 species of birds, 72 species of reptiles and 23 species of amphibians. It is estimated that 30% of Mexican daytime butterflies are present in this area, with approximately 600 species.
The Biosphere Reserve is home to the Jaguar, the Yucatan Brown Brocket, the Mexican Black Bear, the Spider Monkey, the Otter, the Great Curassow, the Crested Guan, the Bearded Wood Partridge (Dendrortyx barbatus), the Military Macaw (Ara militaris), the Red-crowned Amazon (Amazona viridigenalis), the Tucan, the Emerald Toucanet and the American Crocodile.
It also hosts endemic species such as the Querétaro Pocket Gopher (Pappogeomys neglectus), the (Autochton siermadrior) butterfly and a great number of fish and troglobitic arthropods.