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Mexico creates the largest Protected Natural Area in North America

With the new decree in Islas Revillagigedo, the country shows its great will to conserve its biodiversity.

The archipelago of Revillagigedo, a group of four islands located 800 km from the Pacific coast of Mexico, is one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse archipelagos on the planet.

Its surprising terrestrial and marine fauna and flora has few parallels when compared with islands of the same size. Its extraordinary biodiversity includes several endemic species, that is to say exclusive, of the insular territory that include the parakeet, the mockingbird and the red-tailed hawk, which is currently located in the list of threatened species. The marine diversity includes large concentrations of sharks, rays and whales, a show now quite rare in the world.

The islands were devastated by the introduction of exotic species such as sheep, rabbits, cats and rats, which caused the extinction of some species and the severe decline of other populations. At sea, sport fishing for species such as golden marlins and commercial fishing for tunas and sharks have wreaked havoc on biodiversity.

Today, thanks to an ambitious restoration plan in the terrestrial environment, which includes the eradication of exotic species, the islands are in a clear environmental recovery.

In 2008, the Mexican government declared the archipelago Biosphere Reserve and on July 17, 2017 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In an act of enormous relevance for the conservation of the islands and seas of Mexico and the world, the government of Mexico has proposed the creation of the Revillagigedo National Park that seeks conservation of 148,000 km 2.

Isla Socorro. Taken from CONANP 2016

The initiative of the Mexican government to create the largest marine and insular nature reserve in North America, with more than 14.8 million hectares, is an extraordinary news, with great impact for the conservation of biodiversity in Mexico and the world. One of the most important points of this initiative is that in addition to the enormous expansion in area, by giving the Revillagigedo archipelago the status of a National Park, it prohibits any type of extractive activities such as sport or commercial fishing, which threatened these ecosystems. With this new decree promoted by the Federal Government, scientists and civil society, the country shows its great will to conserve its biodiversity for this and future generations. Actions such as these place Mexico as a leader in conservation in the international environment.

33% of the Revillagigedo Archipelago species are endemic. (Taken from CONANP, 2016)

"Maintaining the greatest possible extensions of marine and terrestrial environments in Protected Natural Areas is the best safeguard for humanity".

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