Mexico Bird Conservation Regions Map
- Sierra Madre Occidental
- Chihuahuan Desert
- Tamaulipan Brushlands
- Gulf Coastal Prairie
- Islas Marías
- Sierras de Baja California
- Desierto de Baja California
- Islas del Golfo de California
- Sierra y Planicies de El Cabo
- Planicie Costera, Lomeríos y Cañones de Occidente
- Marismas Nacionales
- Planicie Costera y Lomeríos del Pacífico Sur
- Sur del Altiplano Mexicano
- Eje Neovolcánico Transversal
- Sierra Madre Oriental
- Planicie Costera y Lomeríos Secos del Golfo de México
- Cuenca del Río Balsas
- Valle de Tehuacán–Cuicatlán
- Planicie Costera y Lomeríos Húmedos del Golfo de México
- Sierra Madre del Sur
- Sierra Norte de Puebla–Oaxaca
- Planicie Noroccidental de Yucatán
- Planicie Noroccidental de Yucatán
- Isla Cozumel
- Altos de Chiapas
- Depresiones Intermontanas
- Madre de Chiapas
- Planicie Costera del Soconusco
- Archipiélago de Revillagigedo
- Isla Guadalupe
- Arrecife Alacranes
- Los Tuxtlas
- Pantanos de Centla–Laguna de Términos
Bird Conservation Region 34 – Sierra Madre Occidental
The Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range runs northwest to southeast parallel to the Pacific Coast from the Mogollon Rim and isolated mountain ranges in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico through Sonora to central Mexico, where it connects with the Sur del Altiplano Mexicano. It is characterized by high elevations and a complex topography with the presence of oak-pine, pine, and fir forests along the mountain range and of semiarid scrub habitats on eastern slopes. In Mexico there are more than 20 IBAs in this BCR, including El Carricito, a remnant of old-growth pine-oak forest and habitat for the presumably extinct Imperial Woodpecker and other important species, such as Golden Eagle, Military Macaw, Thick-billed Parrot, and Eared Trogon. Other priority landbirds of this BCR in Mexico are the Rose-throated Becard, Spotted Owl, Golden Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. Among the species whose range extends into the United States in this region, highest priorities include the Red-faced Warbler, Strickland’s Woodpecker, and Montezuma Quail. Riparian areas in lowlands support many in-transit migrants as well as breeding Thick-billed Kingbirds, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Most uplands in the United States are publicly owned, but lower-elevation grasslands and riparian habitat are subject to development and conversion. The whole region is an important corridor for migration of many species in the west. Significant wetland habitats, such as Santiaguillo Lagoon in Durango, Mexico, provide wintering habitat for large numbers of aquatic birds, highlighted by Northern Pintails and American White Pelicans.
Bird Conservation Region 35 – Chihuahuan Desert
The Chihuahuan Desert stretches from the Sierra Madre Occidental in the west to lusher scrub habitat of the Edwards Plateau and Tamaulipan Brushlands in the east, and from the Southern Great Plains to the north and over much of the central Mexican Plateau. Arid grasslands and shrublands cover broad basins, and higherelevation oak-juniper woodlands and conifers occur in numerous isolated mesas and mountains. In Mexico, IBAs include Janos–Nuevo Casas Grandes, home of the Burrowing Owl, Golden and Bald Eagles, Peregine and Prairie Falcons, Lucy’s Warbler, and Mountain Plover. Sierra del Nido, with Eared Trogon, Thick-billed Parrot, and Lucifer’s Hummingbird, and Mapimí are two other key IBAs. Other important typical species are Scaled Quail in the lowlands, Bell’s Vireo along some riparian zones, and Black-capped Vireo in the montane scrub community. The Colima Warbler is a rare inhabitant of a few of the higher mountains. The Río Grande and adjacent wetlands provide important habitat for Sandhill Cranes, waterfowl, and other riparian and wetland-dependent birds.
Bird Conservation Region 36 – Tamaulipan Brushlands
This plain extends from southern Texas into northeastern Mexico. Much of the grassland, savanna, and thornscrub habitat has been converted to more shrubby conditions as a result of grazing history. Important Bird Areas in Mexico include Presa Venustiano Carranza, with nesting habitat for Mexican Ducks and Golden Eagles. It is also a key site for migrating Greater White-fronted Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and many species of ducks. Parras de la Fuente is an IBA that supports an important nesting colony of White-winged Dove and provides habitat for Red-crowned Parrot and Yellow-headed Parrot. Other distinctive avifauna of this region includes Audubon’s Oriole, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Long-billed Thrasher, and Plain Chachalaca. Botteri’s Sparrow, Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken, Whitetailed Hawk, wintering Whooping Crane, and LeConte’s Sparrow are high priority species of grassland habitats. Wetlands are habitat for Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks and a great variety of wading and shorebirds, as well as for several wintering waterfowl species.
Bird Conservation Region 37 – Gulf Coastal Prairie
Flat grasslands and marshes hug the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from northern Tamaulipas across the mouth of the Río Grande up into the rice country of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana and across the great Louisiana marshlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The Laguna Madre on both sides of the border (an IBA in Mexico) is dominated by dunes, beaches, and black mangroves. This BCR features one of the greatest concentrations of colonial waterbirds in the world, with breeding Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Brown Pelican, and large numbers of herons, egrets, ibis, terns, and skimmers. The region provides critical in-transit habitat for migrating shorebirds, including Buffbreasted Sandpiper and Hudsonian Godwit, and for most of the neotropical migrant forest birds of eastern North America. Mottled Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, and Purple Gallinule also breed in wetlands, and winter numbers of waterfowl are among the highest on the continent. These include dabbling ducks (especially Northern Pintail and Gadwall), Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and White-fronted Geese from both the Central and the Mississippi Flyways. The most important waterfowl habitats of the area are coastal marsh, shallow estuarine bays and lagoons, and wetlands on agricultural lands of the rice prairies. Loss and degradation of wetland habitats due to subsidence, sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, freshwater and sediment deprivation, saltwater intrusion, oil and gas canals,and navigation channels and associated maintenance dredging are the most important problems facing the area’s wetland wildlife.
Bird Conservation Region 38 – Islas Marías
Located in the Pacific Ocean offshore from Nayarit, the Islas Marías (María Madre, María Magdalena, and María Cleofas) plus the nearshore Isla Isabel comprise this BCR. These islands range in elevation from sea level to 200 meters and are covered by tropical deciduous and subdeciduous forest. They are a center of endemism for birds at the subspecies level and provide habitat for the Red-breasted Chat, Mexican Parrotlet, Greenish Elaenia, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Yellow-headed Parrot, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Pauraque, Happy Wren, Golden Vireo, Rose-throated Becard, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-green Vireo, Tropical Parula, Flame-colored Tanager, and Hooded Oriole. Seabirds using the islands include the Magnificent Frigatebird, Redbilled Tropicbird, Brown Booby, Blue-footed Booby, and Sooty Tern.
Bird Conservation Region 39 – Sierras de Baja California
This BCR is comprised of the Sierra de Juárez and the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, two similar IBAs located in northern Baja California. Vegetation types rise with elevation from Mediterranean chaparral to pine-oak and pine forests. High priority birds include Oak Titmouse, Wrentit, California Thrasher, Western Scrub-Jay, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Bewick’s Wren, California Towhee, Loggerhead Shrike, California Gnatcatcher, California Quail, Mountain Quail and Mountain Chickadee.
Bird Conservation Region 40 – Desierto de Baja California
This BCR includes most of Baja California. It is a center of endemism that includes flat desert zones similar to the Sonoran Desert, shrublands, and coastal lagoons. The El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve—the largest reserve in Mexico and Latin America—is found here, as are several IBAs. The desert shrublands and salt marshes of Área de San Quintín provide habitat for California Gnatcatcher, Clapper Rail, Least Tern, Brant, and Western Sandpiper. Complejo Lagunar Ojo de Liebre and Complejo Lagunar San Ignacio IBAs are dominated by halophytic scrubs, salt marshes, and mangroves. These lagoon complexes are critical for shorebird and waterfowl species, such as Brant, Caspian and Royal Terns, Black-vented Shearwater, and Snowy Plover. Bahía Magdalena–Almejas IBA includes desert scrub and mangrove habitat for such birds as Elegant Tern, Bald Eagle, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Brown Pelican, Brandt’s Cormorant, and a breeding colony of Magnificent Frigatebird. Sierra la Giganta IBA is dominated by desert scrub that is home to the endemic Xantus’ Hummingbird and Gray Thrasher.
Bird Conservation Region 41 – Islas del Golfo de California
This region includes about 100 islands and as many islets between the Colorado River delta and the 23rd parallel. The islands are important as a rich center of endemism. They provide nesting sites for many oceanic species and a corridor for migrants.The habitats are dominated by a dry desert climate with flora similar to that of the Sonoran Desert. Desert scrubland, mangrove, coastal dunes, and tropical deciduous forests are the most common habitat types. Isla Ángel de la Guarda, one of the largest islands in the Gulf of California, is an IBA that provides nesting habitat for Heermann’s and Western Gulls, Brown Pelican, and Osprey. Archipiélago Loreto, an IBA that includes Isla Monserrat, Isla Catalina, and Isla Carmen, contains desert thorn-scrub, tropical deciduous forest, and dune habitats and columnar cacti that support Short-eared Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Great-horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Hooded Oriole, Xantus’ Hummingbird, Redbilled Tropicbird, and two endemic subspecies of Black-throated Sparrow.
Bird Conservation Region 42 – Sierra y Planicies de El Cabo
The southern tip of the Baja California peninsula includes the Sierra la Laguna, an area of desert scrubland and tropical deciduous forest. Endemic birds include Xantus’ Hummingbird, Gray Thrasher, the San Lucas subspecies of American Robin, and Baird’s Junco. Estero de San José IBA features palm groves, desert scrubland, salt marsh, mesquite, and aquatic vegetation. It is the last stopover for many aquatic birds and shorebirds during their migration to and from southern Mexico. Additional endemics are the Cape Pygmy-Owl and Belding’s Yellowthroat.
Bird Conservation Region 43 – Planicie Costera, Lomeríos y Cañones de Occidente
This BCR extends from eastern Sonora south to coastal Nayarit along the Pacific slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Vegetation is mainly thorn scrubland, tropical deciduous forest, and pine and oak forests, crossed by ribbons of riparian vegetation. Mangroves and other wetlands are found near the coast. Cuenca del Río Yaqui is a watershed IBA in southeastern Sonora having a unique combination of tropical and subtropical ravines (barrancas) that supports approximately 275 bird species, including Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Military Macaw, Whitefronted Parrot, Whiskered Screech-Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl,Blue-throated and Costa’s Hummingbirds, Strickland’s Woodpecker, Thick-billed Kingbird, Rose-throated Becard, Blackcapped Gnatcatcher, Yellow-green Vireo, and Tropical Parula. Alamos–Río Mayo is an IBA in southeastern Sonora and adjacent Chihuahua that is the northern limit of tropical deciduous forests, with such key species as the Lilac-crowned Parrot. San Juan de Camarones is a western Durango IBA that includes the old-growth pine forest of the highlands and descends along the typical Sierra Madre Occidental Pacific slope gradient of pine, pine-oak, tropical deciduous, and semi-deciduous forests and desert shrublands. Important species in this IBA include the Golden Eagle, Thickbilled Parrot, and Eared Trogon. Southward in coastal Sinaloa lies the Ensenada Pabellones IBA, a large coastal lagoon covered by mangroves and tule that provides winter habitat for the Greater White-fronted Goose and important breeding habitat for Brown Pelican, Osprey, and Magnificent Frigatebird. Bahía Santa María in central Sinaloa is the most important wintering site for Brant on the continental coast of Mexico. Also wintering here are American White and Brown Pelicans, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Greater White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, and Piping Plover.
Bird Conservation Region 44 – Marismas Nacionales
Marismas Nacionales, a Ramsar site located on the southern coast of Sinaloa and adjacent Nayarit, is a complex mosaic of salty coastal lagoons, mangroves, marshes, and swamps nurtured by seven rivers. Vegetation includes mangroves, marshes, tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, and halophytic brushlands. More than 70,000 waterfowl and 100,000 shorebirds, including migrants and residents, use this BCR. Key species are Wood Stork, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Osprey, Mexican Parrotlet, Lilac-crowned Parrot, and Yellow-headed Parrot.
Bird Conservation Region 45 – Planicie Costera y Lomeríos del Pacífico Sur
This BCR runs along the Pacific coast of Mexico from Nayarit south through Chiapas. Vegetation typically includes tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, mangroves, desert scrublands, and riparian vegetation. Species endemic to this part of Mexico include Lilac-crowned Parrot, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Blue Mockingbird, West Mexican Chachalaca, Green-fronted Hummingbird, Golden-crowned Emerald, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, White-striped Woodcreeper, Flammulated Flycatcher, San Blas Jay, Rufous-backed Robin, Golden Vireo, and Sinaloa and Happy Wrens. The Chamela–Cuitzmala IBA is also a biosphere reserve and the locale for two biological stations. Additional important species found in the IBA include Black-vented Shearwater, Least Storm-Petrel, Elegant Tern, Peregrine Falcon, Yellowheaded Parrot, Military Macaw, Banded Quail, Mexican Parrotlet, Balsas Screech-Owl, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Goldencheeked Woodpecker, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Blue Mockingbird, Red-headed Tanager, Orange-breasted Bunting, Black-chested Sparrow, Audubon’s Oriole, and Yellow-winged Cacique. The coastal portion of the Coacolmán–Pómaro IBA is covered by tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests. Species associated with the well-preserved altitudinal gradient include Reddish Egret, Wood Stork, Common Black-Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Great Black-Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, and Mottled Owl. Two small islands (Isla Redonda and Isla Larga), which lie just a few kilometers off the Nayarit–Jalisco coast, form the Islas Marietas IBA. Cliffs, caves, and sandy beaches ring the islands, with interior vegetation dominated by grasslands and columnar cacti. Large numbers of breeding birds congregate here, including more than half of Mexico’s Bridled Tern, as well as Brown Boobies and Brown Noddies. Laguna de Manialtepec is a coastal Oaxaca IBA covered with aquatic and subaquatic vegetation, tropical deciduous forest, thorn forest, mangroves, coastal dunes, and palm plantations. Important species include Townsend’s Shearwater, Red-footed Booby, Least Bittern, Reddish Egret, Wood Stork, Muscovy Duck, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Masked Duck, Yellow-headed Vulture, Crane Hawk, Elegant and Least Terns, and Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow.
Bird Conservation Region 46 – Sur del Altiplano Mexicano
The Altiplano Sur is located in central Mexico, occupying parts of the states of Querétaro, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and Michoacán. This region’s historic landscape has been transformed by human settlements, agriculture, forestry, and cattle ranching. It is now characterized by shrublands and mixed forests. The BCR’s only IBA, Sierra de Santa Rosa, has 14 different oak species and provides habitat for priority birds, such as Ocellated Thrasher, Violetcrowned Hummingbird, Rufous-backed Robin, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Red Warbler, Blue Mockingbird, Aztec Thrush, and Worthen’s Sparrow.
Bird Conservation Region 47 – Eje Neovolcánico Transversal
The Tranverse Volcanic Belt runs west to east through the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Morelos, Hidalgo, Distrito Federal, México, Tlaxcala, Puebla, and Veracruz. This is an extensive volcanic mountain range that includes the highest elevations in Mexico, including the Pico de Orizaba in Veracruz (5,747 meters), Popocatépetl (5,452 meters) and Iztccíhuatl (5,146 meters) on the border between Puebla and México, and Nevado de Colima (4,625 meters) on the Colima–Jalisco border. This region separates the Central Plateau from the Balsas Basin and is characterized by pine, pine-oak, and fir forests and temperate grasslands. Valleys and basins amid this complex are sites for some of the country’s largest cities, including la Ciudad de México, Guadalajara, Toluca, and Morelia. La Malinche is an isolated mountain and one of the oldest volcanoes in the Eje Neovolcánico. Vegetation is primarily pine and pine-fir forests and grasslands. Endemic species include Rufous-capped Brush-Finch, Red Warbler, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, and Striped Sparrow. Volcanes Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl are located near la Ciudad de México within the states of México, Puebla, and Morelos. Additional endemic species here include the White-napped Swift, Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Gray-barred Wren, Spotted Wren, Rufous-backed Robin, Ocellated Thrasher, Blue Mockingbird, Hooded Yellowthroat, Green-striped Brush-Finch, and Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow. Sierra de Taxco–Nevado de Toluca IBA, located in México and adjacent Guerrero, includes a large area of well-preserved cloud forest. Important birds here include Solitary Eagle, Slaty Vireo, Spotted and Gray-barred Wrens, and White-striped Woodcreeper. Sur del Valle de México is an IBA in Distrito Federal and Morelos. Additional priority birds in this IBA include the Stygian Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Black-vented Oriole, Sierra Madre Sparrow, and Aztec Thrush. Lago de Cuitzeo IBA in Michoacán is covered by halophytic grasslands, aquatic and subaquatic vegetation, and tropical deciduous forests. This IBA contains one of the most important wetlands in central Mexico. Endemic Black-polled Yellowthroats and threatened Dwarf Vireos and Least Bitterns are found here.
Bird Conservation Region 48 – Sierra Madre Oriental
The Sierra Madre Oriental is a north-south mountain range in eastern Mexico that passes through parts of the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Veracruz, and Puebla. It divides the Central Plateau from the Eastern Coastal Plains and is dominated by oak, pine-oak, and pine forests, cloud forests, tropical semi-deciduous forests, and dry scrublands. El Cielo IBA, located on the Gulf slope of the Sierra Madre, is covered by diverse vegetation types that host 400 bird species (56 percent residents, 46 percent winter visitors). Included among these species are 13 endemic species and populations of globally important Military Macaw, Maroon-fronted Parrot, and Red-crowned Parrot. San Antonio Peña Nevada IBA in southwestern Nuevo León includes desert scrubland and pine and oak forest habitats used by the Maroon-fronted Parrot. San Nicolás de los Montes in San Luis Potosí consists of tropical semideciduous and oak forests and is habitat for the endemic Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Hooded Yellowthroat, and Crimson-collared Grosbeak, as well as Bat Falcon, Hooded and Audubon’s Orioles, and Blue Mockingbird. Sierra Gorda IBA in Querétaro and adjacent San Luis Potosí consists of a remarkable variety of vegetation types, including tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, desert scrubland, cloud forest, and oak, pine-oak, and pine forests. Important species include Military Macaw, Great Curassow, Crested Guan, Bearded Wood-Partridge, White-crowned Parrot and Emerald Toucanet, Red-crowned Parrot, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Tamaulipan Crow, Spotted Wren, and Rufous-capped Brushfinch.
Bird Conservation Region 49 – Planicie Costera y Lomeríos Secos del Golfo de México
This BCR lies along the Gulf of Mexico in southern Tamaulipas, adjacent Veracruz, and northeastern San Luis Potosí, with a second portion in central Veracruz. Vegetation includes tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, thorn forests, aquatic and subaquatic vegetation, grasslands, desert scrubland, and portions of cloud forest and oak forest. Sierra de Tamaulipas is an isolated zone on the coastal plain rising to 1,500 meters. Because of its isolation, it is an area of high endemism for plants and a refuge for many vertebrates, including the Great Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Yellow-headed Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Red-crowned Parrot, Green Parakeet, Eastern Screech-Owl, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Chihuahuan Raven, Golden-crowned Warbler, and wintering Black-throated Green Warbler. Sierra del Abra Tanchipa in San Luis Potosí is the northern limit of tropical deciduous and palm forests. Birds here include Military Macaw, Tamaulipan Crow, Wild Turkey, Plain Chachalaca, Lazuli Bunting, and Eastern Towhee. Presa Vicente Guerrero is a reservoir surrounded by well-preserved Tamaulipan scrubland and tropical deciduous forest. Species registered here include Crested Guan, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Muscovy Duck, numerous wintering temperate duck species, and White-tipped Dove.
Bird Conservation Region 50 – Cuenca del Río Balsas
The Balsas River Basin is located in Morelos, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla, and Michoacán. It is limited to the north and east by the Eje Neovolcánico, to the south by the Sierra Madre del Sur, and to the east by the Valle de Tehuacán–Cuicatlán and Sierra Norte de Puebla–Oaxaca. Vegetation includes tropical deciduous forests and desert scrubland. Sierra de Huautla in Morelos provides habitat for Common Black Hawk, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Pileated Flycatcher, Black-vented Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Blue Mockingbird, Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Happy Wren, West Mexican Chachalaca, Golden-cheeked and Gray-breasted Woodpeckers, Dusky Hummingbird, and Blue Seedeater. Cuenca Baja del Balsas, an IBA in southeast Michoacán and adjacent Guerrero, is a depression covered by tropical vegetation. It includes the Infiernillo Reservoir, which is important for waterfowl. Additional priority birds here include Wood Stork, Great Black Hawk, Banded Quail, Military Macaw, Flammulated Flycatcher, Rufous-backed Robin, and wintering Black-capped Vireo. Cañón del Zopilote is an IBA in central Guerrero typified by tropical deciduous forest, desert scrubland, and columnar cacti. Belted Flycatcher, Balsas Screech-Owl, and Black-chested Sparrow are found in the habitats of this IBA.
Bird Conservation Region 51 – Valle de Tehuacán–Cuicatlán
Located in the states of Puebla and Oaxaca, Valle de Tehuacán–Cuicatlán is covered by a desert scrubland that hosts almost 3,000 species of vascular plants. This BCR is considered a center of endemism and diversification of columnar cacti (45 of 70 known species in the world). Almost 30 percent of flora is endemic. This region is a biosphere reserve that contains a mixture of species from arid regions of North America and from tropical humid montane regions. Priority species include Boucard’s Wren; West Mexican Chachalaca; Lucifer, Beautiful, and Dusky Hummingbirds; Gray-breasted Woodpecker; Ocellated Thrasher; Slaty and Dwarf Vireos; White-throated Towhee; and Bridled and Oaxaca Sparrows.
Bird Conservation Region 52 – Planicie Costera y Lomeríos Húmedos del Golfo de México
This BCR has the shape of a half moon, beginning in central Veracruz and extending southeast through Tabasco, north through Oaxaca and Chiapas, and east through Campeche. Vegetation includes tropical evergreen, semi-deciduous and deciduous forests, thorn forest, oak and pine forests, grasslands, and extensive areas of early successional growth and agriculture. Humedales del Sur de Tamaulipas y Norte de Veracruz is an IBA in southern Tamaulipas and adjacent Veracruz vegetated by thorn forest, introduced grasslands, agricultural lands, and flooded areas with halophytic vegetation. Wintering migrants make up 45 percent of the avifauna, including many species of waterfowl. There are also six Mexican endemic species here: Green Parakeet, Red-crowned Parrot, Bronze-winged Woodpecker, Tamaulipan Crow, Altamira Yellowthroat, and Crimson-collared Grosbeak. Humedales de Alvarado is a central Veracruz IBA that consists of a coastal system of dunes with desert scrubland patches, mangroves, and tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests. Again, many of the important birds here are wintering migrants associated with wetlands, including Piping Plover, Yellow-headed Vulture, Snail Kite, Least Bittern, Northern Pintail, American White Pelican, Common Black Hawk, and Black-collared Hawk. Uxpanapa, part of the Coatzacoalcos River Basin, is another IBA located on the border between Veracruz and Oaxaca. The original vegetation in the western portion has been transformed, but important extensions of tropical rainforests remain in the east. Important species include Long-tailed Sabrewing; Slender-billed Wren; Great, Little, Thicket, and Slaty-breasted Tinamous; Hook-billed, White-tailed, and Plumbeus Kites; Crane and White Hawks; Bat and Laughing Falcons; Plain Chachalaca; Pale-vented Pigeon; Blue Ground-Dove; Gray-fronted Dove; White-crowned and Mealy Parrots; Squirrel and Striped Cockoos; Green Shrike-Vireo; Rufousbrowed Peppershrike; Tropical Parula; and a host of wintering warblers (Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white,Worm-eating, and Kentucky Warblers, Ovenbird, and American Redstart). El Ocote IBA in the Grijalba Basin River of northwestern Chiapas is covered with tropical rainforest and tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, thorn forest, pine and oak forests, grasslands, and agricultural lands. This center of biodiversity includes Nava’s Wren, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Singing Quail, Chestnut-headed and Montezuma Oropendolas, and Plain Xenops.
Bird Conservation Region 53 – Sierra Madre del Sur
Sierra Madre del Sur borders the Pacific coast from the Eje Neovolcánico to the Istmo de Tehuantepec, extending about 1,200 kilometers through the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. One of the many IBAs in this region, Sierra de Miahuatlán, is a mountain range in southern Oaxaca dominated by tropical semi-deciduous forest, cloud forest, and pine-oak forest. Birds that have been reported for this mountain range include Whitethroated Jay, Blue-capped Hummingbird, Black-capped Vireo, White-naped Swift, Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Rufous-bellied Chachalaca, West-Mexican Chachalaca, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and the Blue-capped Hummingbird (the latter being endemic to Miahuatlán). The vegetation of Acahuizotla–Agua del Obispo in Guerrero consists of tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, pine forest, and grasslands. Additional endemic birds here include Eared Poorwill, Gray-crowned Woodpecker, Barred Woodcreeper, Emerald Toucanet, Green-fronted Hummingbird, Flammulated Flycatcher, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Red-headed Tanager, Collared Towhee, and Dwarf Vireo. Sierra de Atoyac IBA includes Cerro Teotepec, the highest peak in Guerrero at 3,705 meters. Vegetation is tropical semi-deciduous, cloud, and coniferous forests. Additional endemic species include Scaled Antpitta, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Unicolored Jay, Sinaloa Wren, Happy Wren, and Golden Vireo. Threatened species include Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Bat Falcon, Singing Quail, Short-crested Coquette, White-throated Jay, White-tailed Hummingbird, and Yellow-headed Parrot. Omiltemi is another Guerrero IBA. This one consists of a series of humid canyons covered with pine-oak, cloud, tropical deciduous, and tropical semi-deciduous forests. This very isolated area is a center of endemism and species richness, including several bird species of restricted distribution and/or many endangered species. Among these are the White-throated Jay, White-tailed Hummingbird, White-striped Woodcreeper, Longtailed Wood-Partridge, Aztec Thrush, and Emerald Toucanet.
Bird Conservation Region 54 – Sierra Norte de Puebla–Oaxaca
This BCR, crossing through northern Oaxaca and adjacent eastern Puebla and western Veracruz, is a major landmark due to its abrupt relief and numerous peaks rising to 3,000 meters. Vegetation includes coniferous, cloud, and tropical deciduous forests. Sierra Norte is an IBA that rises in elevation to 3,700 meters in Cerro de Cempoaltepetl. Habitats include tropical rainforest; tropical deciduous, semi-deciduous, cloud, and oak and pine forests; desert brushlands; and grasslands. Priority birds are Dwarf Jay, Slender-billed Wren, Oaxaca Sparrow, Keel-billed Motmot, and Yellow-headed Parrot. Unión–Chinanteca in north-central Oaxaca is part of a complex and abrupt mountain system having a vast mosaic of different vegetation types, including coniferous, cloud, and tropical semi-deciduous forests. Additional endemic bird species include Long-tailed Sabrewing, Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Ocellated Thrasher, Red Warbler, Boucard’s Wren, Rufouscapped Brush-Finch, and White-naped Brush-Finch. The Great Curassow, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, and White Hawk are among the threatened species present.
Bird Conservation Region 55 – Planicie Noroccidental de Yucatán
This BCR lies along the coastal areas of northern Campeche and northwestern Yucatán. It is dominated by coastal dunes, mangrove swamps, halophytic grasslands, tropical deciduous forests, thorn forests, and bulrushes. Los Petenes is a large swamp system that includes mangroves and tropical deciduous and subdeciduous forests on flooded plains. Bird species reported include the Orange Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Yellow-lored Parrot, Jabiru, Wood Stork, Muscovy Duck, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Least Bittern, Reddish Egret, Snail Kite, Bat Falcon, King Vulture, Black Hawk-Eagle, and such wintering waterfowl as Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, and Lesser Scaup. Ría Celestún is a biosphere reserve located on the northern coast of Campeche and western Yucatán. It is an area of saline wetlands and coastal lagoons. Habitats include mangroves (red, black, and white), marshes, coastal dunes, and tropical subdeciduous forests. Important species include Ocellated Turkey, Yucatan Poorwill, Yucatan Wren, Yucatan Jay, Least Tern, Greater Flamingo, Muscovy Duck, Yellow-headed Vulture, Common Black Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Limpkin, and Piping Plover, along with wintering waterfowl. Ichka ‘Ansijo IBA on the coast of Yucatán includes coastal dune, mangrove swamp, halophytic grassland, bulrush, tropical deciduous forest, and lowland thorn forest habitats. Additional birds of interest include Great Curassow, Burrowing Owl, Crane Hawk, and Peregrine Falcon.
Bird Conservation Region 56 – Planicie Noroccidental de Yucatán
This BCR covers most of the Yucatan Peninsula, including parts of Campeche and Quintana Roo and all of Yucatán. Calakmul is an IBA and biosphere reserve located at the highest elevations of the Campeche Plains. There are no major watercourses in the area, but rather surface pools, locally known as “aguadas,” where water collects in natural depressions. Tropical semi-deciduous and deciduous forests, tropical rainforest, and aquatic vegetation predominate. This is the largest reserve in the Mexican tropics, sheltering an avifauna that includes 118 protected species and nine that are endemic to the region. Important among these are Harpy Eagle, King Vulture, Emerald Toucanet, Wood Stork, Jabiru, Muscovy Duck, Masked Duck, and Spectacled Owl. Mesoamerican endemics include Ocellated Turkey, Yellow-lored Parrot, Rose-throated Tanager, Red-vented Woodpecker, Orange Oriole, Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Jay, and Yucatan Poorwill. Sierra de Ticul–Punto Put is an IBA at the point of convergence of the states of Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. It is adjacent to Calakmul and has similar vegetation. Additional important species in this IBA include Common Black-Hawk, Great Curassow, Crested Guan, Yellow-headed Vulture, Bat Falcon, Limpkin, and wintering Hooded and Swainson’s Warblers. Sian Ka’an IBA is also a biosphere reserve. It is located in coastal Quintana Roo and features a wide variety of habitat types, including tropical rainforest sloping down to the sea, flooded rainforests, freshwater and brackish swamps, coastal lagoons, and keys. Additional important species here include Rose-throated Tanager and Buff-bellied Hummingbird. This BCR also includes the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, where nesting Greater Flamingos are found.
Bird Conservation Region 57 -Isla Cozumel
Isla Cozumel is located 17.5 kilometers off the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. This large, flat island is affected by hurricanes at a frequency of one every 6.2 years. The habitats are those of tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest, mangrove swamp, bulrushes, and coastal dunes. Early successional vegetation is found in areas of human disturbance or in those areas recently affected by hurricanes. Most of the island area is uninhabited. Most agricultural and livestock activities are restricted to small areas, and a large part of the island is a reserve. The avifauna has a distinctive Caribbean influence, as evidenced by Stripe-headed Tanagers, White-crowned Pigeons, and wintering Palm and Black-throated Blue Warblers. Endemic birds include the Cozumel Thrasher, Cozumel Vireo, and Cozumel Wren; endemic subspecies include Great Curassow and Black Catbird. Other important species are Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Greater Flamingo, Reddish Egret, Blue-winged Teal, Masked Duck, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Least Tern, Yellow-lored Parrot, and wintering Hooded Warbler.
Bird Conservation Region 58 – Altos de Chiapas
The highlands of central Chiapas run parallel to the Pacific Coast and extend to the lowlands of Selva Lacandona in a series of deep folds known as “cañadas.” Cerro Saybal–Cerro Cavahlná is a mountainous IBA in the northern part of this BCR that is covered with cloud and pine-oak-liquidambar forests. Important birds noted here include Highland Guan, Singing Quail, Blue-throated Motmot, Azure-hooded Jay, and Wine-throated Hummingbird. Cerro Blanco, la Yerbabuena y Jotolchén is an IBA with vegetation similar to that in the area known as Selva Negra. Birds at this IBA include Resplendent Quetzal, Bluethroated Motmot, Black-throated Jay, Slaty Finch, and wintering Golden-cheeked Warbler. Cerros de San Cristóbal de las Casas IBA consists of pine-oak, oak, and cloud forests, and early successional vegetation. Additional birds here include Belted Flycatcher, Blackcapped Siskin, White-throated Hummingbird, Slender Sheartail, and Emerald-chinned Hummingbird. Lagos de Montebello IBA in central Chiapas is dominated by pine-oak-liquidambar forest, with some patches of cloud forest in humid portions. Limpkin, White-crowned Parrot, Emerald Toucanet, and White-breasted Hawk are threatened or restricted-distribution birds found in this IBA.
Bird Conservation Region 59 – Depresiones Intermontanas
This BCR is a lowland corridor about 250 kilometers long and 75 kilometers wide that is bound on its two sides by the mountain ranges of Chiapas. Vegetation includes that of cloud forests, tropical rainforests, and tropical deciduous forests. The Zapotal–Mactumatza IBA includes priority species, such as Plain Chachalaca, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, Northern Bobwhite, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Red-billed Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Green Parakeet, Orangefronted Parakeet, Mangrove Cuckoo, Squirrel Cuckoo, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Lesser Roadrunner, Tawny-collared Nightjar, Great Potoo, White-collared Swift, Vaux’s Swift, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, White-throated Swift, Fork-tailed Emerald, Berylline Hummingbird, White-bellied Emerald, Plain-capped Starthroat, Violaceus Trogon, Collared Aracari, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Bentbill, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Belted Flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Gray-breasted Martín, Spotted-breasted Wren, Banded Wren, Plain Wren, Solitary Vireo, Lesser Greenlet, Fan-tailed Warbler, and wintering Western Tanager and Townsend’s, Chestnutsided, Magnolia, and Black-and-white Warblers. The IBA Corredor Laguna Bélgica-Sierra Limón-Cañón Sumidero consists of cloud forest, tropical rainforest, and tropical deciduous forest. A total of 215 bird species have been reported in this IBA. Threatened species include Highland Guan, Crested Owl, Emerald Toucanet, Keel-billed Toucan, Nava’s Wren, and wintering Golden-cheeked Warbler.
Bird Conservation Region 60 – Madre de Chiapas
This BCR, on the Pacific coast of Chiapas, contains Mexico’s oldest mountain range. A 4,026-meter volcano on the Mexico-Guatemala border defines the El Tacaná IBA. It is vegetated by cloud forest and scrubland. Important species include Bar-winged Oriole, Mountain Robin, Pink-headed Warbler, Resplendent Quetzal, Unspotted Saw-whet Owl, White-throated Swift, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Greater Swallow-tailed Swift, Rufous Sabrewing, Violet Sabrewing, Green Violet-ear, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Mountain Trogon, Collared Trogon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Blue-throated Motmot, Barred Antshrike, Eye-ringed Flatbill, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Spotted Nightingale-Thrush, Crescent-chested Warbler, and wintering Wood Thrush and Townsend’s and Hermit Warblers. La Sepultura IBA is considered a transitional zone between the Neartic and Neotropical Regions and a Pleistocenic haven. There are nine vegetation types with many endemic and rare plant species. Endemic bird species include Rose-bellied Bunting and Giant Wren. Threatened birds include Resplendent Quetzal, Rose-bellied Bunting, King Vulture, Solitary Eagle, Whitecrowned Parrot, and wintering Golden-cheeked Warbler. El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve is also designated an IBA, which is covered with cloud forest, tropical deciduous forest, coniferous forest, a relict oak forest on a small crest, grassland, and agricultural land. Three hundred ninety birds have been counted in this area, including Azure-rumped Tanager, Horned Guan, Resplendent Quetzal, Wine-throated Hummingbird, and Highland Guan.
Bird Conservation Region 61 – Planicie Costera del Soconusco
This BCR on the Pacific coast of Chiapas encompasses La Encrucijada, a biosphere reserve and an IBA. It has two large wetlands formed by rivers, lagoons, and estuaries. Vegetation includes tropical deciduous and subdeciduous forests, various wetland types, dunes, coastal scrublands, and the tallest mangroves in Mesoamerica. This is one of the most important systems of tropical wetlands on the Pacific Coast of North America and is the habitat of many rare, threatened, and endangered species. Birds of priority are the Magnificent Frigatebird; Wood Stork; Plain, West-Mexican, and White-bellied Chachalaca; 15 raptor species, including Snail Kite, Common Black-Hawk, Crane Hawk, Black-collared Hawk, Grayheaded Kite, and Peregrine Falcon; 13 duck species, including Muscovy Duck, Blue-winged Teal, and Redhead; 15 heron and egret species, including the Boat-billed Heron and Roseate Spoonbill; 20 shorebird and wading bird species, including Sungrebe, Limpkin, Snowy Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson’s Plover, American Avocet, Northern Jacana, Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Sanderling, and Western Sandpiper; and parakeets and parrots, including Green Parakeet, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Orange-chinned Parakeet, White-fronted Parrot, and Yellow-headed Parrot. Other important species include Giant Wren, Rufous-naped Wren, Mangrove Vireo, Bell’s Vireo, Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow-breasted Chat, Indigo Bunting, and Painted Bunting.
Bird Conservation Region 62 – Archipiélago de Revillagigedo
The Islas Revillagigedo off the Pacific coast of Colima is the most remote archipelago of Mexico. Four volcanic islands—Socorro, Clarión, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida—have a combined surface area of almost 40,000 hectares. Clarión and Socorro stand out for their wealth of endemic flora and fauna. Vegetation on Isla Socorro consists of Croton scrub, Ficus cotinifolia forest, and pine forest, with associated elements of cloud forest. Clarión is primarily scrub and scrub forest, while San Benedicto Island is covered by volcanic ash and plants that are recolonizing after a major eruption that took place in August 1952. Roca Partida Island is a rock island without vegetation. Endemic species include Townsend’s Shearwater, Socorro Mockingbird, Socorro Parakeet, Socorro Dove, Clarion Wren, Socorro Wren, and Socorro Towhee.
Bird Conservation Region 63 – Isla Guadalupe
Isla Guadalupe is part of a volcanic archipelago located off the coast of Baja California. Its geomorphology is marked by steep slopes linked with a mountainous topography, with elevations up to 1,400 meters. Vegetation is xerophytic scrubland (matorral) and forests of an endemic cypress associated with pine and oak. Endemic birds include the Guadalupe Junco, Guadalupe Storm-Petrel, and subspecies of American Kestrel and Rock Wren. Other important species include Laysan Albatross (which breeds here), Red-billed Tropicbird, Heermann’s Gull, Cassin’s Auklet, and Burrowing Owl. Extinct forms are the endemic subspecies of Crested Caracara, Bewick’s Wren, Spotted Towhee, and probably Guadalupe Storm-Petrel.
Bird Conservation Region 64 – Arrecife Alacranes
Arrecife Alacranes is located in the Gulf of Mexico northwest from the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a protected area of 88,084 hectares, including five islets (Isla Desertora, Isla Pájaros, Isla Desterrada, Isla Chica, and Isla Pérez) and the waters surrounding them. Vegetation consists basically of dunes and scrub habitat. This BCR is the most important breeding site in the Gulf of Mexico for Sooty Tern, and an important breeding area for Brown Noddy and Masked and Brown Boobies. Many birds migrating across the gulf stop here in fall and spring.
Bird Conservation Region 65 – Los Tuxtlas
This region on the coast of central Veracruz is a biosphere reserve that includes Volcán de San Martín Tuxtla and the Sierra de Santa Martha. Vegetation is that of tropical rainforest, cloud and pine forests, early successional growth, grassland, coastal dune, and mangrove. Five hundred sixty-four bird species have been reported in Los Tuxtlas, including two species found only in this area: the Long-tailed Sabrewing and Tuxtla Quail-Dove. Other important resident species include Agami Heron, Crested Guan, Orange-breasted Falcon, Black Robin, White-throated Robin, Mangrove Vireo, and Rufous-browed Peppershrike. High priority wintering birds include Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, and Hooded Warbler.
Bird Conservation Region 66 – Pantanos de Centla–Laguna de Términos
This BCR includes two IBAs and encompasses part of a biosphere reserve and a Ramsar site (Pantanos de Centla). Located in the Delta of Usumacinta–Grijalva Rivers, the area is a complex hydrological system of rivers, lagoons, swamps, and salt marshes. Habitats are tropical rainforest, bloodwood tree woodland, mangrove swamp, rosewood scrub, and palmetto grove. Some of the important birds here include Jabiru, Wood Stork, Yellow-headed Vulture, Common Black-Hawk, Great Black-Hawk, Muscovy Duck, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Roadside Hawk, Bat Falcon, Limpkin, White-crowned Parrot, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Hooded Warbler, Hooded Oriole, Orange Oriole, and Snail Kite.