Mexico

Tropical Forest Project

Conservation Issues in Sonora, Mexico

The single biggest conservation issue in the Alamos region is cattle grazing. Many areas on and around our study sites have been cleared for cattle. However, some areas are continuously cleared. Some were cleared decades ago, and there are many areas of forest that are still intact. This patchwork of deforestation presents both a problem and an opportunity. The problem is habitat fragmentation: when forests are broken up into fragments, the smaller fragments cannot support many species of plant and animal, and large fragments are separated from each other, limiting dispersal and the ability for genes to intermix among populations (“gene flow”).The good news is that many of the previously cleared areas are returning, and we now have the opportunity to monitor their progress. This way, we can find out how animal populations recover as the forest regrows, and we can predict the benefits that animal populations will gain with further efforts to remove cattle.

Cattle grazing in Mexico.

Cattle grazing represents perhaps the single greatest habitat alteration in our Mexico study sites, as is the case in many parts of the world.

There are many amphibians found on our study areas, including the barking frog (Craugastor augusti), the Tarahumara frog, (Lithobates tarahumarae) and Mexican leaf frog (Pachymedusa dacnicolor). These amphibians, as well as many across the globe, may be in danger of extinction by a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, commonly known as chytrid fungus. It is not known if the amphibians of the Alamos region are infected with this pathogen, and part of our monitoring efforts will be to diagnose this disease in our study animals.

The Mexican leaf frog, Pachymedusa dacnicolor, found dead in a 2010 expedition. We will be testing amphibians for chytrid disease that may be causing die-offs.

Another uncertain element in the future of the flora and fauna of the area is global climate change. The whole of northwestern Mexico is a topographically and climatically varied place. Specific elevations exhibit distinct climates and contain plants and animals that are not found at higher and lower spots. The high dependence of species on specific elevations means that climatic perturbations might have profound impacts on species survival. Some species can adjust to a changing climate by moving up mountains to cooler spots. However, species already inhabiting peaks have nowhere to go, and are not expected to survive. One of our goals is to find out just what the risks climate change poses to species’ survival, and share those findings with the world, in an effort to help effect positive change.

Mexico Biodiversity Project

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Spanning several distinct biogeographic zones, the Sierra de los Alamos region of Mexico holds some of the greatest and most distinct biodiversity in all of North America.

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When you create an account with TBG you will receive an acknowledgment of your donation for your records, and occasional email and postal delivery updates. If you do not wish to hear from us, simply press unsubscribe at the bottom of emails, or contact us to stop receiving postal deliveries.

 

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Refunds for any products may be made within 15 days of receipt of item(s), upon item return. Call 520 647-1434 for arrangements.

Refunds policies for activities such as workshops and internships are given on the application pages for those activities.

Privacy and Refund Policy

Privacy Policy

TBG respects and protects your privacy. TBG will never sell or rent your personal information to other individuals or companies. When you make a donation, your name will be included in TBG newsletters and other publications. If you do not wish to share your name, or you choose to make your donation anonymously, TBG will not publish your name.

When you create an account with TBG you will receive an acknowledgment of your donation for your records, and occasional email and postal delivery updates. If you do not wish to hear from us, simply press unsubscribe at the bottom of emails, or contact us to stop receiving postal deliveries.

 

Refund Policy

If you have made an error in making your donation or change your mind about contributing to TBG, we will honor your request for a refund made within 5 business days of your donation. To request a refund, call 520 647-1434 (US). Refunds are returned using the original method of payment, except cash donations will be returned via check. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.

Refunds for any products may be made within 15 days of receipt of item(s), upon item return. Call 520 647-1434 for arrangements.

Refunds policies for activities such as workshops and internships are given on the application pages for those activities.

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