The Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve is the most important reproduction site for Mexico’s and Latin America’s main hummingbird species, such as the Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae) and the Xantus’ hummingbird (Hylocharis xantusii). The latter is endemic of the region.
It comprises the dry forests located in the region of Baja California, and its temperate woods are home to a unique biodiversity at a global level, and is essential for the population in the area. It is the most important hydrological reservoir in the region, and, according to the Mexico’s Water National Commission, six basins are formed from Sierra La Laguna.
Its 42 native mammal species represent 70% of the fauna found in Southern Baja California, though it is also very important for resident and particularly migrating birds.
Designation date: 2003
Ecosystem-based network: Global Change in Mountain Regions (GLOCHAMORE) and Global and Climate Change in Mountain Sites (GLOCHAMOST)
Surface : 112,436 ha
- Core area(s): 32,519 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 79, 917 ha
- Transition zone(s): N/A
Location: 23°42’S - 23°20’ S; 109°46’ - 110°11’ W
The Biosphere Reserve is a vegetation “island” amidst arid surroundings, which has granted it with a substantial level of endemism. Its dry forests are mostly covered with pine oak and oak woodlands, with adjacent low medium deciduous forests that is an important spot for tropical species. Some of the endemic species are the palo extrano (Ilex brandegeana) and the manzanita (I. californica). Between the months of August and October, it is also the main reproduction site for the hummingbirds Sierra La Laguna is known for.
Out of the almost 50 mammal species found in the region, roughly 40% are endemic, like the Osgood’s mouse (Peromyscus gratus).
The preservation of the region is also critical for securing safe water sources for the local population. Located in the fringes of a desert with low precipitation rates (0-400 mm annually), the average of the region’s is 700 mm.
With no more than 600 inhabitants, the local economy is based on small-scale agriculture, with reasonably little impact in the environment, as well as both intensive and extensive stock farming. Other activities include beekeeping and the production of local products, like sweets and charcuterie, among others.
Ecotourism is also a growing activity, though the numbers are still not very high. The Biosphere Reserve receives around 1,340 national tourists and 540 foreign tourists on a yearly basis.
The region is constantly threatened by mega-mining projects, particularly of gold.
Last updated: October 2018