|Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve
Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz
|The Mexican federal Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas, southern Veracruz (Reserva de la
Biosfera Los Tuxtlas), was created in 1998 by the consolidation of several other protected areas which had been declared
reserves dating as far back as 1934.
Since the first attempt at protection, the Biosphere has lost almost 90% of its flora and most of its larger mammals and
reptiles. As of 2010 deforestation and defaunation, although diminished, have not been stopped.
The Biosphere protects mostly the higher inland elevations of Los Tuxtlas, roughly above 1000 feet, but also includes
almost 75 miles of coast line. The major communities in Los Tuxtlas, and also Laguna Catemaco, are not part of the
Basically the Biosphere is divided into two zones. The supposedly highly protected zone includes the 3 nuclei of Volcano
San Martín Tuxtla, the Sierra Santa Marta and Cerro San Martín Pajapan. The other, largest zone, is an amortiguamiento
(buffer area) surrounding the nuclei.
Most of the 155,222 hectares of land within the reserve are in private or community possession. In 1998 about 10% of land
within the biosphere was expropriated.
So of the 155 thoasan hectares (600 square miles) in the Biosphere, in effect only 24,421 ha (95 square miles) are vaguely
protected, frequently with only two (2008) of what are the equivalent of forest rangers in Mexico.
|The Biosphere maintains an office in the city of Catemaco, staffed with less than 10 employees. Although obligated
to so do in 1998, the Biosphere did not complete its Management Plan until 2009.
Although its funding from federal Mexican sources is minimal, numerous NGO's and foreign organizations have
allocated millions of dollars to the Reserve. Very little is known about how the money was spent, nor what the result
are or were.
A recent and ongoing project by the reserve was the institution of a 20 peso per day fee to visit the Biosphere.
The fee, in the form of the purchase of a bracelet from strategic vendors, is being resisted by local tourism
providers and is rarely applied.
|Los Tuxtlas Info
Covers most of the Los Tuxtlas living and cultural aspects from archaeology to zoology,