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Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

The Reserve is an area of high geological and ecological complexity and of human activity. It presents a high diversity of environments that correspond to nine types of vegetation. It is of great relevance as it is the North limit of the rainforest in the American continent and a unique case in Mexico and North America, given the connection of different types of forests and rainforests, from the sea coast to the summit of the volcanoes. It constitutes a source of rainwater harvesting for being one of the rainiest areas of the country.



Surface : 155,122 ha

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

Location: N/A

Administrative Authorities

Municipalities of Catemaco, Hueyapan de Ocampo, Mecayapan, Pajapan, San Andrés Tuxtla, Santiago Tuxtla, Soteapan, Tatahuicapan, Acayucan, Soconusco, Chinameca and Ángel R. Cabada, State of Veracruz

José Faustino Escobar Chontal

Director RB Los Tuxtlas

Playa No. 32, esquina con Abasolo, Col. Centro,
Catemaco, C.P. 95870, Veracruz

Tel.: 52 294 94 31101, 01 (294) 943 11 50


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Ecological Characteristics

This Biosphere Reserve hosts significant ecosystem diversity and nine types of primary vegetation. It is the northern limit of the moist forest in the American continent and is a unique case for Mexico and North America due to the connection of different types of forests and woodland from the coast to the volcano tops. It is a catchment area as it is one of the rainiest parts of the country. Within the Reserve, 2,698 species of vascular plants, 877 species of vertebrates (46 amphibians, 122 reptiles, 140 mammals and 569 birds), 133species of odonata and 860 species of butterflies have been identified. Among the fauna, 21 species are endemic. It is a key area for birds migrating from North America, 223 of the 569 species of birds registered in the area are Nearctic and Neotropical migrants.

The Biosphere Reserve contains endemic species and endangered species of flora and fauna. An example of the endangered species of flora are: Chironectes minimus, Vampyrum spectrum, Alouatta palliata, Ateles geoffroyii, Cyclopes didactylus. Among the birds: Jabiru mycteria, Cairina moschata, Sarcoramphus papa, Harpyhaliaetus solitarius, Harpya harpyja, Spizastur melanoleucus. The Reserve also contains abundant ichthyofauna with endemic taxa such as Bramocharax caballeroi, Poecilia catemaconis, Poeciliopsis catemaco and Priapella olmecae.



Socio-Economic Characteristics

Agriculture (chillies, maize, beans, citrus, tobacco for export, sugar cane, carpet grass, meat and dairy cattle, silviculture. Other important activities are fishing and tourism.








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Last updated: December 2018