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Sierra de Alamos - Río Cuchujaqui Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

The protected area of Sierra de Álamos – Río Cuchujaqui falls within the geographical provinces of the Western Sierra Madre and the Northwest Coastal Plain, consisting of an elevational gradient of vegetation, from the tropical deciduous forest (lowland deciduous) to the Sierra Madre evergreen forest (pine-oak forest). The Sierra de Álamos runs parallel to the coast of the Pacific Ocean and is crossed by numerous deep gullies that have been excavated by the rivers that flow into the Pacific; this is the case of the Cuchujaqui River, a tributary of the Rio Fuerte.

It hosts a wealth of key species like puma (Puma concolor), jaguar (Panthera onca), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and kinkajous (Herpailurus yaguaroundi). There is an abundance of riparian forest of Taxodium mucronatum as well as a wide range of soils and geology. The region of Álamos is known for the confluence between the northern limits of many tropical species.



Surface : 92,890 ha

  • Core area(s): N/A
  • Buffer zone(s): N/A
  • Transition zone(s): N/A

Location: N/A

Administrative Authorities

Municipality of Álamos, State of Sonora

Elvira Rojero Díaz

Directora RB Sierra de Alamos Río Cuchujaqui

APFF Sierra de Álamos- Río Cuchujaqui
Edificio Federal de Correos, 2° piso, Ofic. 13,
Av. Aquiles Serdán 180, Col. Centro, Hermosillo
C.P. 83000, Sonora, Mexico
Callejón Padre Kino s/n, La Aduana, Col. Guaparines,
Alamos, C.P. 85760, Sonora

Tel.: 18909 (662) 212 23 36, 
       212 22 26, 212 22 26

Email: and

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Ecological Characteristics

This Biosphere Reserve is located in an enclave in one of the Municipalities harbouring the most biodiversity of the State of Sonora. It has mixed plant communities such as the Deciduous Tropical Fores (Lowland Deciduous Forest), the Sinaloa Thorny Shrubland, and the Evergreen Sierra Madre Forest (Pine and Oak Forests).

It contains extraordinary biological wealth, with a total of approximately 1,200 species of plants in 566 genus and 148 families (Rzedowski, 1991). In terms of fauna, the area contains approximately 557 species of vertebrates. Because of the biological diversity, the area is considered to be very rich both at State and national level (Rzedowski, 1991).

Among the species of wildlife, the following can be mentioned: Guaiacum coulteri, the palm Brahea sp., the Cycad Dioon tomaselli, the Magnolia Magnolia pacifica, the Gila monster Heloderma suspectum, the scorpion Heloderma horridum, the Alamos mud turtle Kinosternon alamosae, the Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos, the Humming bird Amazilia violiceps, the Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias, the Eared Quetzal Euptilotis neoxenus and the freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium sp. Also to be found are mammals such as the Jaguar Panthera onca, the Ocelot Leopardus pardalis, the Otter Lontra longicaudis.



Socio-Economic Characteristics

Most activities are related to the primary sector: open-range cattle-raising, subsistence agriculture, forestry activities, tourism, crafts, mining, fishing and aquiculture. These activities are mainly taken up by man (only 13% of women have jobs outside their household).

In the Biosphere Reserve, various project have been carried out in order to promote cattle holistic management, organic agricultura and diversification of economic activities to, for example, beekeeping and eco-tourism. One of these programs is aimed at preserving different varieties of the so-called 'maiz criollo' (heirloom corn).

Besides, women participation and empowerment is also fostered, especially in tourism activities (nowadays, 70% of community tour operators are women).




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Last updated: January 2019