domingo, octubre 07, 2007


"In Mexico, the variety of topography, weather and vegetation have given place naturally, a variety of animal life; allowing the union of tropical and temperate wildlife, giving unsuspected combinations. For example, I recall an occasion, seated on a rock edge in the sierra¹ de Tamaulipas, a clear spring day, with an oaks and grass plateau at my back and a blooming tropical cliff at my feet; among the oaks, a turkey gobbled, some quails whistled, a bobwhite "zumbaba" and a couple of black-bellied whistling duck looked for the older tree to nest in its hollows. A white-tailed doe slipped by the fresh brush bottom edge to find her nest.
Down there, in the "monte", the monotonous thicket tinamou whistle and the soft cooling of the red-billed and white face pigeons made echoes with the rock edging. A beautiful Great Curassow fluttered the wind with his wings, maybe looking for his lady, and a gray fox slide in the middle of an open field. Where else in all North America can we observe that diversity of wildlife from a rock?"
A. Starker Leopold, Fauna silvestre de México, 1985. Free translation.

Faunativa ac is a non-profit organization whose main interest is the conservation of the Sierra de Tamaulipas and other critical areas.
Our first project is a White tail deer and peccary breeding in 1000 acres ranch, "El Aleznillo", in the northeast side of this sierra, the most boreal of the tropical
deciduous forest in the Atlantic side.
The project born as alternative use of this land, trying to achieve relevance and attention to this important and significant habitat. Perhaps the lack of attention is ending, the latest Sierra de Tamaulipas classification like RTP-91 (Priority Terrestrial Region) make us optimistic. However, Leopold fieldworks, like this text say, express the diversity richness of an area longtime forgotten or ignored. Maybe the reason was that the editor wrote sierra¹ instead of Sierra.
We found in the Wilson Bulletin, references about the Leopold field research; made before Paul S. Martin, C. Richard Robins and William B. Heed traveled to this area and resulted in the work "Birds and Biogeography of the Sierra de Tamaulipas, an Isolated Pine-Oak Habitat" March 1954, Vol.68, Nº1.
They said that Leopold was there prior their visit in 1949.
Maybe the attention to the Reserva de la Biósfera "El Cielo", eclipsing this quite important area, still with good conservation possibilities as some specialists consider.
Habitat of jaguar, ocelot, jaguarondi, margay, mountain lion and bobcat, among other valuable species; birds like the great curassow, wild turkey, crested guan, thicket tinamou, muskovy duck, pigmy owl, etc. Coati, peccary, armadillo, opossum, deer, and so more mammals.
The Sierra de Tamaulipas is an oasis, an isle in the Gulf Coastal Plain, contrasting with the gradually deforested land as we go up north to the border. It is a genetic reservoir of a significant part of Mexico and USA bio-diversity.
Our breeding project is looking for financial support, we own the land and our will is to destine it to this purpose and the diffusion of this habitat trough the eco-tourism, rural tourism and scientific uses.
Other projects that we are promoting are:
1. Monitoring of remaining wildlife in the irrigation agriculture Low Rio Grande River.
2. A windbreak plantation program in the irrigation district, to diminish Aeolian erosion and water loss and create wildlife corridors.
3. Monitoring and analysis of sewerage discharges in Valle Hermoso City, its impact in soil, air and the Laguna Madre.
4. Acquisition of 50 acres of remaining native vegetation in the irrigation district, to conserve it and develop a wildlife refuge.
Our organization is not political, nor has political nexus, but we will not quit to have an effective influence in the decision making process in these times when the environmental issues are so important, indispensable and unavoidable. Our issues go behind borders, and the interest on them is not for commerce or fashion. Is a matter of survival.
Hector Manuel Bonilla