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Our work and research has had an important impact on the definition and implementation of environmental policies in natural protected areas, endangered species, national land management and environmental impact assessments.


  • Distribution of Mammals of the World: Implications for Conservation

  • Establishment of Natural Protected Areas

  • Conservation and Evaluation of Endangered Species



Distribution of Mammals of the World: Implications for Conservation

Dr. Ceballos was the first to evaluate the relationship between the area and the number of species worldwide and published the first paper that synthesized the distribution of all (4800 spp.) species of mammals and their implications for conservation. He recently discovered that 10% of all mammals have been described in the last 15 years, indicating how little is known about biological diversity. This work appeared as one of the 100 most important scientific discoveries of the year.

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Establishment of Natural Protected Areas

This laboratory has done pioneering work in Mexico and the world on methods to determine the priority areas for conservation and the establishment of new natural protected areas. We have participated in the establishment of the following NPA’s:

1)      Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, Jalisco. This was the first private biosphere reserve in Mexico                    and the first exclusively dedicated to the protection of the dry forests in Mexico.

2)      Protected Area of Flora and Fauna-Chamela Bay Islands.

3)      Protected Area of Flora and Fauna- Ciénagas of Lerma, State of Mexico. The largest wetlands of Central                Mexico.

4)      Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.

5)      Protected Area of Flora and Fauna- Wetlands of Mexico’s Valley.

6)      Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.

7)      Janos Biosphere Reserve, Chihuahua.




Conservation and Evaluation of Endangered Species

By demonstrating that more than 25% of the country’s species were at risk, our work promoted with other scientists the creation of the first Ecological Policy for the protection of species at risk of extinction (NOM-O59). This norm has been fundamental for the defense and conservation of endangered species of Mexico.

     We have evaluated the current status of approximately 20 vertebrate species at a national and regional level, including prairie dogs (Cynomys mexicanus and C. ludovicianus), flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans), northern porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), mouse of Angel de la Guarda (Peromyscus guarda), the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), several species of tuzas (Crateogeomys zinzeri, C. fumosus, Geomys tropicalis), Perote’s squirrel (Spermophilus perotensis), Magdalena’s rat (Xenomys nelsoni), Teporingo (Romerolagus diazi), Jaguar (Panthera onca – Calakmul region, Campeche and Quintana Roo), Bison bison, Yellow rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis goldmani) and three fish species (Algansea barbata, Chirostoma riojai and Notropis sallei) from the Toluca Valley. In all cases, mechanisms have been proposed to conserve these species in the long term.

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