The Cuixmala Ecological Foundation (FECx) is a non governmental organization established on May 25, 1988, to promote activities related to the conservation and restoration of Mexico’s natural riches and, especially, to support the creation of the Reserva de la Biósfera Chamela-Cuixmala (Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve) on the coast of Jalisco.
The Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (National Commission of Protected Natural Areas), on December 30, 1993, the FECx obtained, by presidential decree, the creation of Mexico’s first biosphere reserve destined to protect the caducifolia.
The importance of conservation is based on the vital ecological services that it provides, such as the preservation and supply of water, erosion control, ground formation and flood control. It also contributes to the production of food, pharmaceutical products, the capture of carbon dioxide and the regulation of local and global climate.
The protected area of the reserve measures 131.42 km2 (50.74 mi2) and its geography is dominated by hills and by an alluvial plain on the banks of the Cuitzamala River.
It is located 125 km (77.6 mi) to the northwest of the port of Manzanillo, Colima, and 180 km (112 mi) southeast of Puerto Vallarta. The tropical climate with seasonal rains provokes two very contrasting spells: one very dry, between November and June, and a wet one, between July and October, with an average rainfall of 800 mm (31 in) a year.
Chamela-Cuixmala protects a group of outstanding habitats of great biological diversity: over 1,200 plants, 270 birds, 70 mammals, 68 reptiles, 19 amphibians and several thousand types of insects and other invertebrates.
Text: Araceli Cano ± Photo: Cuixmala.