Mexico ranks third among the most biologically diverse countries in the world. This high biodiversity is the result of its unique geographic location and variations in topography and climate found in a extensive area of nearly 2 million hectares, which when combined, create a myriad of environmental conditions, complex ecosystems and unique landscapes.
The state of Sinaloa, covering an area of 58,092 square kilometers (almost 3% of the Mexico’s total area) has a particularly maritime and agricultural vocation. Along its 640 kilometers of coastline, lie over 200,000 hectares of coastal lagoon systems, some of the most productive coastal ecosystems nationwide.
Mazatlan is located 21 km south of the Tropic of Cancer, along the southern coast of the state of Sinaloa, where the Sea of Cortés or Gulf of California, meets both, the Mexican Pacific and the western Sierra Madre mountains. Across the region, and along the Mexican Pacific Riviera, an heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation and topography makes up a for a complex network of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems that harbour a significant biological and cultural diversity.
This important ecoregion, comprehends essential habitat for a variety of wildlife species, both threatened or endangered, like jaguars and other wildcats, crocodiles, sea turtles, birds, sharks, sea lions and cetaceans. From Sinaloa to Nayarit, more than 75,000 hectares of mangrove ecosystems are found within coastal systems, functioning as breeding and feeding areas for many commercially important marine species and as refuge for many species of birds, both migratory and residents.
However, this same region is also home to over 3 million inhabitants, and large scale economic activities (e.g. agriculture, aquaculture, mining, fisheries and massive tourism) that make use of its natural resources, most times in harmful ways, generating great impacts for wildlife and its habitat, making it essential to develop new conservation strategies that can alleviate poverty in marginal areas and maximise benefits for local communities and the ecosystems they depend from.
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