The healthy pine, pine-oak, and oak forests and chaparral of Ajos-Bavispe are prime habitat for a diversity of species including 1,234 species of vascular plants, 208 species of birds and 156 species of butterflies. Among the important species are black bear, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, porcupine and rare and threatened species such as the Mexican spotted owl, leopard frogs, thick-billed parrot, and horned lizard.
Due to its ruggedness, the reserve has remained largely protected. The most significant threats to the refuge are natural fire regime change through fire suppression programs, illegal cattle ranching and associated introduction of invasive species, road construction, and illegal timber harvesting and wildlife poaching.
A Strategy of Success
Although Ajos-Bavispe was designated a reserve in 1939, it did received the attention it deserved until 1998 and for six decades the area was impacted by logging, mining, cattle grazing and hunting. When PiP began funding, the program focused site consolidation efforts on improving basic operations of the park, including the hiring and training of staff, improving and building infrastructure, purchasing equipment, and strategic conservation planning. With these improvements Ajos-Bavispe has improved its threat score from “medium” to “low.”
The PiP partner organization, BIDA, is drafting an integrated fire management plan for the reserve one of the first in Mexico. The plan will be used to educate public agencies and local people on the important role of fire in maintaining the health of the watersheds and the forests and surrounding grasslands as well as to prevent catastrophic fires, such as those recently experienced in the U.S. in similar fire-maintained ecosystems.
Working with The Nature Conservancy in the U.S., PiP helped IMADES develop key programs for private lands and freshwater conservation techniques to promote watershed-management bi-nationally.
Read more about Ajos-Bavispe...
Comisión de Ecología y Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora (CEDES)
Read more about projects in Mexico...
El Pinacate/Gran Desierto del Altar Biosphere Reserve
Cuatro Ciénegas National Wildlife Reserve
Loreto Bay/Isla Espiritu Santo Migratory Flora and Fauna Reserve
Ría Celestún & Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserves
La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve
El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
El Ocote Biosphere Reserve
Calakmul Biosphere Reserve
Mexico Partner Organizations
The Nature Conservancy in Mexico