El Eden Ecological Reserve location,
27 July 2012Mexico Hub
Jaguar, bird monitoring and wildlife conservation in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Mexico is considered one of the top 17
diverse” countries in the World; together with Colombia,
Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Zaire, Madagascar, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia they hold nearly70% of the global species diversity.
Mexico is ranked as number 2 of major number of reptile species, 3 inmammals, 5 in amphibians and vascular plants, and 8 in birds
. In order to contribute with this
biodiversity conservation, GVI volunteering programs have been supporting different marine and terrestrialprojects in the Yucatan Peninsula since 2003, through the establishment of different marine conservation andcommunity development expeditions in
the Sian Ka’an B
iosphere Reserve, Tulum and Mahahual.In 2008, the support was extended to El Eden EcologicalReserve
(EEER) research on jaguar and wildlifeconservation. EEER is a private area that counts with morethan 1500 ha of forest and wetlands; it has a lot of differenthabitats and wildlife such as: migrant birds, severalmammals, reptiles and amphibians species; it is part of thebiological corridor of Yum Balam-Sian Ka
an, which iscritical for the conservation of important species in the areasuch as the jaguar.The jaguar is an endangered species and the largest felinein America. Despite
protected species the numbers of individuals have diminished more than half over the pastcentury
. The major threats to this species are hunting andthe reduction of natural habitats due to the expansion of urban areas, agricultural land and highways which cut their normal pathways as they need large extensions of land tolive and hunt. Therefore, the location of El Eden Ecologicalreserve is vital for jaguar conservation within theMesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). The MBC is asystem of land planning, consisting of four types of natural areas: core areas, which are exclusively for theconservation of ecosystems and species and in which humanactivities are prohibited; buffer zones, which are of restricted use bythemselves; corridors, which are areas that facilitate movement,dispersal and migration of species, and in which human activities areof low impact.
The first stage of this conservation project comprises a census on thepopulation, reproductive events and migration of jaguars and wild catsas well as the abundance of prey available. GVI volunteers have beenhelping out setting up and servicing camera traps, as well as identifyinganimals and entering data to the EEER data base.
GVI volunteer setting up a cameratrap.